Selby admits to losing focus in Masters opener

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

MARK Selby said his decent record in deciding frames gave him the confidence he needed to get past Mark Davis in the first round of the Masters.

Despite leads of 4-0 and 5-2, the world number two was pushed all the way by this season’s Six Reds world champion before coming through the final frame to claim a tough 6-5 win.

Selby, who will face either Stuart Bingham or John Higgins in the next round, famously beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in a final frame shootout to lift the Masters four years ago.

And after the match he admitted to losing his focus throughout the second session.

“I controlled the match to go 4-0 ahead, but I seemed to go back out and lose focus,”  he said.

“For whatever reason, I struggled a bit. Every credit to Mark. He came back strongly. You just have to wipe out everything that has gone before and focus on the final frame.

“I’ve had a lot of deciding frames and managed to come through more than I’ve lost. I beat O’Sullivan 10-9 in the final a few years ago. It gives you confidence knowing you’ve won a few deciders in the past here.”

The defeat would have been an agonising one for Davis, who is still to win a match in a Masters event.

“I never got a decent chance in the final frame,” he said after the game. “He (Selby) held himself together in the end. It all came down to a few poor safety shots from me in that final frame.”

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