MAN OF the moment Anthony McGill has got what it takes to win this year’s World Championship – that’s the message from the man who was defeated by him, Mark Selby.
The talented Scot, playing at the Crucible for the first time in his career this year, recorded the biggest win of his career as he ended Selby’s reign as defending world champion with a deserved 13-9 victory on Friday evening.
It was a stunning performance from the 24-year-old who has captured the imagination of this year’s World Championship after showing many impressive signs of handling the big occasion throughout the qualifying stages and at the Crucible itself with victories over Stephen Maguire and now world number one Selby to add to the list.
McGill will face either Shaun Murphy or Joe Perry in the quarter-finals.
And the man himself said he could not believe he had got over the winning line against the man officially ranked the best player in the world.
For McGill all he wanted to was to compete against Selby giving him a good run for his money. Well its his own money he needs to think of as victory earned him a guaranteed £30,000 – his biggest prize cheque since turning professional in 2010 – and even more could come his way if he keeps up his rich vein of form over the days to come.
“I’ve just beaten the World Champion at the Crucible, I can’t believe it,” McGill told World Snooker’s official website.
“No one was expecting me to win, I wasn’t expecting it myself. I was just hoping to put up a proper decent fight.
“I thought I played pretty well. To win the second session 6-2 and go 10-6 ahead was massive, but I knew by no means was it over tonight, even when it went to 12-7. He’s not World Champion for nothing and you just see time and time again, Mark Selby comes back at a lot better players than me.
“It seems every time I win now it’s the biggest win of my career. I’ve beaten Stephen, I’ve now beaten Mark and fingers crossed it keeps happening.
“I’m not bothered who I play next, I don’t think they’ll be bothered about playing me. I’ll just go out and try my best again.”
The defeat meant Selby was unable to become the first man to successfully defend the World Championship at the Crucible twelve months after winning it for the first time.
But the Leicester star, who previously admitted he found life as world champion difficult to cope with at the start of the season, was gracious in defeat and said McGill could go all the way..
Selby said: “Anthony played fantastic all match, he thoroughly deserved to win. I probably lost it in the second session, I played really poorly and every time he got a chance he seemed to punish me – he had me under pressure all match. He’s more than capable of winning the tournament.
“I’ve known Anthony for a few years now, I’ve played him a few times and he’s got a really mature head on young shoulders.