Mark Selby described his performance in the World Grand Prix first round as ‘very poor’ despite edging as out as the winner.
The world number one and reigning world champion admitted he went into today’s first round clash against Jimmy Robertson low on confidence due to being on a poor run of form.
Recent times have been hard for the three-times world champion after suffering early exits in the German Masters, The Masters and the UK Championship. His only major success story of the season so far was winning the International Championship in November.
And that lack of form showed throughout as Selby unusually missed pots he would put away with ease. There were also unforced errors in his safety game which his opponent failed to make the most of.
But despite all that Selby came through a 4-3 winner after a break of 73 in the deciding frame secured him a place in the last 16.
He next faces Australian Neil Robertson who yesterday showed fine form in beating David Gilbert 4-1.
Speaking to ITV, Selby said it was hard work out there.
He said: “It was very very poor (from me) there. It has probably come from a little bit of doubt because I’ve had a few losses early doors in tournaments.
“It doesn’t matter what you’ve won in the game or what you have achieved, if you keep getting beat that confidence is going to go sooner or later – same as the opposite way round when you winning you are going to strive on confidence.
“When I got in the balls sometimes I was doubting myself on the big shots but I think that comes down to having a few early losses.
“All the way through the match I didn’t fell great but the last frame was the best I felt which is strange because that’s when I was under the most pressure.
“The positive thing I can’t play any worse than that that’s for sure.”
Meanwhile, China’s Ding Junhui booked his place in the last 16 after beating Mark King 4-1.