Selby number one
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Mark Selby: ‘My goal is to get back to number one’

The Englishman captured an 18th career ranking title with victory in the European Masters on Sunday.

Mark Selby has his sights set on regaining the world number one position in the rankings list after getting his 2020/21 season off to a perfect start in Milton Keynes.

The three-time world champion edged Martin Gould 9-8 in a topsy-turvy battle to claim the European Masters title in Milton Keynes.

Victory represented the tenth ranking tournament final in succession that Selby has won – just one shy of the record held by Stephen Hendry.

Success also ensured that Selby has won a ranking event in each of the last ten seasons, which is also one below the target set by the Scot between 1989 and 1999.

After pocketing the £80,000 champion’s cheque, Selby remains fourth in the official rankings but has a long-term plan of regaining the world number one spot he held for long periods throughout the last decade.

“I’m really over the moon,” Selby told the WST after his victory. “I felt as if I played okay – I definitely played well at the start of the match.”

“In the second session, I sort of missed a few but overall you’re going to do that in a best-of-17 match, you can’t pot everything.

“Martin played fantastic from 4-0 down and put me under pressure, but I was really happy with myself in the last frame about how I held up when I got my chance.

“A few years ago, I was getting to finals and kept getting beat or not converting them, and I have gone on a run since then.

“To win the last ten finals I have played in is incredible really, because you’re playing the top players in the game every time you play in a final – it is an incredible feat, and it’s something I need to be proud of.

“As long as I’m still competing and enjoying the game like I am doing, hopefully I can play for a fair few more years.

“I always set goals every season and one of my goals now is to try to get back to number one.

“I know Judd is miles ahead in front, but in a year’s time he has to defend a season where he won six tournaments.

“To win six in one season is incredible, so to try to maintain that again is not impossible, but it’ll be very, very tough.

“Getting back to number one is my aim – it’s going to be difficult but that’s what keeps me practicing every day and working hard.”

Selby is next set to be in action when he defends his English Open crown in October.

Featured photo credit: WST

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