Mark Selby is determined to work even harder at his game despite having achieved top ranking status.
Over a 12-year career, the 28-year-old ‘Jester from Leicester’ has been enjoying life as a newly-married man and being world number one.
But having still under-achieved in the major tournaments, Selby has never been hungrier and more focused for glory. The online snooker Masters odds show he is in with a chance.
“I know I’m expected to win now that I’m number one but it doesn’t matter what the rankings are or what other people say, I just ignore it and concentrate on my own game,” Selby said.
“I’m going to be a marked man. That comes with the territory of being world number one, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. No match is easy and I’m sure now that a lot of the players will see beating me as a massive scalp.
“I’ve already noticed that a lot of them seem to raise their game against me. When I’ve lost matches this season, I feel like I’ve been playing pretty well, but it’s just that my opponent has played outstanding snooker.”
Selby has only won two ranking titles – the 2008 Welsh Open and 2011 Shanghai Masters – and is acutely aware of his failings so far, although he can reflect on bagging the Masters title twice.
He is also the only world number one not to have secured either the World Championship or UK Championship – an accusation often directed at world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki who has still to win a grand slam.
“I put enough pressure on myself, and always go into a tournament determined to try my best,” Selby added. “Every time I go out, I play to win. I look on it as being a good thing that I’m one of the favourites for the title.
“Being number one shows I’ve been consistent, even if I’ve not been winning titles left, right and centre. But it shows that I’m always in contention and that, sooner or later, I will win.”