Mark Selby

Snooker Preview: Selby 21/50 To Seal Spot In Semis

2017-04-25
Preview of Tuesday afternoon’s quarter-finals at the Crucible.

Defending champion Mark Selby is 21/50 to reach the last four of the World Championship by beating Marco Fu at the Crucible.

Selby remains on course for back-to-back crowns after booking a quarter-final place with a convincing 13-6 win over Xiao Guodong.

The pre-tournament favourite, who led 10-6 overnight, began Monday's session in blistering style, winning three successive frames to quickly dispose of his Chinese opponent.

Selby, Crucible winner in 2014 and 2016, produced a century (101) in the opening frame of the session - his only one in the match - and then cleared up with a break of 73 to take the second after Xiao twice let him back in.

World number 44 Xiao had given himself hope in the match by winning the final two frames on Sunday but he failed to recapture that form as Selby sealed a comfortable passage into the next round with a break of 60.

“I felt as though I played a really solid game and didn't really make too many mistakes,” said Selby, who is 14/5 for the title.

“I don't feel under pressure as much, but I suppose that goes down to the season I've had leading into it. “If I'd come here having not won anything and struggling a bit for form it would have been a little bit different with the defending champion tag on my back. But that isn't the case this year and I seem to be really relaxed and enjoying my snooker and I think it is showing.”

Selby now faces Fu, who won a thrilling last-16 meeting with Neil Robertson 13-11. Fu is 9/5 for victory or 49/50 to win at least 10 frames in the best-of-25 contest.

In the other quarter-final to start on Tuesday afternoon, former finalist Barry Hawkins is the 4/9 favourite to get past Stephen Maguire (7/4) after overcoming 2006 champion Graeme Dott 13-6.