Belfast Telegraph

I haven't reached my top form yet, warns champion Selby


By Charlie Bennett

Mark Selby has not been seriously tested in the Betfred World Championships to date, but the champion sent out a firm warning that he is only going to get better.

The Leicester potter survived an early scare against Chinese player Xiao Guodong in the last-16, but eventually eased into the quarter-finals with a 13-6 victory.

The two-time champion was supreme yesterday, winning the three frames he needed after a 10-6 overnight lead - leaving the field in little doubt that he is a major contender yet again ahead of a last-eight tie against either Marco Fu or Neil Robertson.

This year's tournament is shaping up perfectly, with heavy hitters Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Ding Junhui still left.

"They will know that when they play me, it will be a battle and I will never give in," he said. "I don't feel under pressure as much this year. If I was here having not won anything and struggling then it would be different with the defending champion tag on my back.

"But I am enjoying my snooker and I think it is showing.

"I don't feel as though I have peaked but I think that is a good thing. If I had peaked in the first or second round then the only place I can go is down."

Barry Hawkins may be the heavy favourite to book his place in the semi-finals, but he knows he has an almighty battle on his hands against a rejuvenated Stephen Maguire in the last-eight.

Hawkins, the 2013 runner-up, advanced by beating Graeme Dott 13-6 yesterday.

Watch the Snooker World Championship Live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds

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