Mark Selby looking hungry for glory ahead of World Open

A disappointing first round exit for Mark Selby in this year’s World Championship was not the way he wanted to end a tough season.

The world number one and defending champion crashed out of the tournament on the opening day after suffering a 10-4 loss to Joe Perry.

It ended a tough campaign on the green baize for Selby who had failed to reach the top form he hit twelve months before when he sealed a third World Championship crown.

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

Despite this he still managed to win two major ranking events last season – winning both the International Championship and the China Open.

Now the Leicester star is keen to start the season on a morale-boosting high and ensure his rare early World Championship exit is soon forgotten about with success in the World Open.

The event is second major ranking event of the season following the Riga Masters which was held last week. It starts on Monday with the final taking place on Sunday, August 12.

Selby set off for China very early (last Saturday), and even tweeted a picture of him enjoying a flight to the Far East which appeared to show he was keen to prepare well for the major ranking event – the first this season for Selby after withdrawing from the Riga Masters.

And yesterday he won the non-ranking event – the Haining Open – to give his preparations the best tonic ahead of the opening day.

Selby will kick start the major ranking tournament, which will see the winner win a mega £150,000, against Elliot Slessor – a player who beat five-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan TWICE last season.

Last year saw China’s very own Ding Junhui take the title when he comfortably beat Kyren Wilson 10-3 to win the trophy.

Ding’s title defence starts with a match against Thailand legend James Wattana.

Australian Neil Robertson, who a week ago won the Riga Masters after beating Jack Lisowski, will take on wildcard entrant He Guoqiang.

World champion Mark Williams takes on new boy on tour Lukas Kleckers from Germany in the first round.

The World Open Draw

Ding Junhui or James Wattana vs Yuan Sijun

Robert Milkins vs David Lilley

Marco Fu vs Peter Ebdon

Liang Wenbo or James Cahill vs Andrew Higginson

Matthew Stevens vs David Gilbert (Stevens has withdrawn)

Rory McLeod vs Ali Carter

Dominic Dale vs Ricky Walden

Andy Lee vs Neil Robertson or He Guoqiang

Barry Hawkins vs Sunny Akani

Michael Holt vs Mark Davis

Lee Walker vs Matthew Selt

Yan Bingtao or Ashley Carty vs Stuart Carrington

Fergal O’Brien vs Zhao Xintong

Scott Donaldson vs Luca Brecel

Gary Wilson vs Tom Ford

Martin O’Donnell vs Judd Trump

Mark Selby vs Elliot Slessor

Zhou Yuelong vs Jamie Jones

Ryan Day vs Robbie Williams

Rod Lawler vs Noppon Saengkham

Michael Georgiou vs Xiao Guodong

Jak Jones vs Zhang Anda

Mark Joyce vs Anthony Hamilton

Simon Lichtenberg vs Mei Xi Wen

Kyren Wilson vs Paul Davison

Harvey Chandler vs Kurt Maflin

Mark Allen vs Lyu Haotian

Jack Lisowski vs Chris Wakelin

Mike Dunn or Luo Zetao vs Joe Perry

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Stephen Maguire

Ben Woollaston or Bai Langning vs Jimmy Robertson or Chang Bingyu

Alexander Ursenbacher vs Mark Williams or Lukas Kleckers


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