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  • World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby Considers Walking Away From Snooker After Crucible Loss

World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby considers walking away from Snooker after Crucible loss

Mark Selby has vowed to consider retirement after crashing out of the World Snooker Championship in a “pathetic” 10-6 defeat to qualifier Joe O’Connor.

The four-time former champion finished a dismal season by his own standards on a low note as he failed to claw back a 7-2 overnight deficit against the only debutant in this year’s draw.

Having first questioned his future after a Tour Championship defeat to Gary Wilson earlier this month, Selby admitted something will have to change if he is to continue on the tour next season.

Selby, who has reached a solitary ranking final this season, said: “I will take a long time to think about it over the summer. Away from snooker I’m happy, then when I come to snooker it’s the opposite. It was pathetic from start to finish.”

O’Connor, who grew up idolising Selby and cheered him to three of those previous successes, held his nerve as his opponent – aided by breaks of 112 and 91 – slowly reduced the deficit to 8-5 at the mid-session interval.

Selby threatened to move within two frames when he went 39 points up in the 15th but he left himself too much to do and O’Connor built on a nerveless red down the rail to complete the biggest win of his career.

It marked the first time since 2018 that Selby has lost in the first round, and prompted ‘The Jester from Leicester’ to concede he will not be able to continue without some serious help.

He told the BBC: “I’ll sit down with (my wife) Vicky and see what the options are.

“Obviously it will be a big decision but if I do carry on playing I need help, probably on the mental side of it a little bit more just to go out there and enjoy the game.

“That’s all I want to do, go out there and enjoy it and for me, it’s always sort of life or death; I’ve always been that kind of character, putting too much pressure on myself and trying too hard.”

Another former champion, Stuart Bingham, pulled away from 10th seed Gary Wilson to secure a 10-5 win and with it a place in the last 16.

Bingham had resumed 6-3 in front after making a blistering start to their match on Sunday, but Wilson, a two-time ranking event winner this season, won the first two frames of the day with back-to-back half-centuries to haul himself within a frame.

But uncharacteristic errors at crucial moments hampered Wilson’s chances and he cut an increasingly frustrated figure as Bingham eased through the next three frames to take the match.

Robert Milkins is another seed in trouble after he finished the opening session of his first round match against Pang Junxu 5-4 behind.

It could have been worse for Milkins, who lost the first three frames before rallying in the second half of the session, a break of 91 in the seventh frame the highlight of an otherwise patchy display.

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