Selby: “I Must Capitalise!”

Mark Selby admits that his feeling of elation at winning the Masters will quickly evaporate if he loses his opening match in the Welsh Open.

The Leicester Jester stunned World No 1 Ronnie O'Sullivan at Wembley last week by coming from 9-6 down to win the final 10-9, and he's now determined to build on that success.

“If I lose in the first round in Wales, the Masters will suddenly seem a long way away,” said 26-year-old Selby, who faces Judd Trump in his opening match at the Newport Centre on Wednesday afternoon. “It was fantastic to win at Wembley, but it wasn't a ranking event, so I've got to capitalise on my good form now and put some ranking points on the board. Last Sunday I didn't celebrate much, I just had a couple of drinks. I had the day off on Monday then I was back on the practice table on Tuesday morning.

“The standard is so high now that you are bound to have a tough opening match. Look at Ding Junhui – he won the UK Championship and must have been full of confidence, then in the Masters he drew me in the first round. So I don't want to be going to Wales cold.

“Winning the Masters has not really sunk in yet, even though I've got the trophy on my mantelpiece at home and I'm getting (girlfriend) Vicky to polish it every day! When I get to Wales and speak to some of the other players about the final, then it will sink in more.”

Selby won the Welsh Open two years ago, beating O'Sullivan 9-8 in the final, and hopes he can complete another amazing double. “I'd just won the Masters at the time, so hopefully that's a good omen for me,” added the World No 7. “I've always enjoyed playing at the Newport Centre, going back to when we used to have the qualifiers there.”

The tournament starts tomorrow (Monday) with home favourite Matthew Stevens as well as Neil Robertson and Peter Ebdon in action in the first session. The likes of O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and defending champion Ali Carter will all be on the baize over the next three days, with the final next Sunday.

Tickets can still be bought by calling 01633 656 757 or visiting the Newport Centre.