2024 World Grand Prix: Mark Selby Ends Carter-O’Sullivan Rematch Hopes in Leicester

At the 2024 Spreadex World Grand Prix, Mark Selby showcased his strategic brilliance as he clinched a hard-fought 4-3 victory over recent Masters finalist, Ali Carter, to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals. In an exclusive post-match interview with SportsBoom, Selby gave his thoughts on the encounter, as well as explaining what it’s really like to face Ronnie O’Sullivan in a triple crown final.

2024 World Grand Prix: Mark Selby Ends Carter-O’Sullivan Rematch Hopes in Leicester
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-01-18

7 minutes read

The Jester Stumbles His Way to the Quarters

The match began with a high-stakes safety battle, setting the stage for a closely contested affair. Selby secured an early lead with a solid 68 break in the first frame. Carter, however responded swiftly in the second frame, levelling the score at 1-1 despite Selby's initial lead.

 

In the third frame, Carter emerged victorious, taking a 2-1 lead in the match. But, Selby, a true champion, displayed his pedigree in the fourth frame with a break of 106, levelling the game at 2-2.

 

The momentum swung in the fifth frame as Selby stole it with a break of 62, reclaiming the lead at 3-2, although Carter fought back with an immaculate century break of 103, levelling the score back at 3-3. 

 

The stage was set for a one-frame shootout to determine the winner and the contender to face Judd Trump in the quarterfinals, with the Jester from Leicester coming out on top with a fabulous break of 77. 

Strategic Brilliance Prevails

In an exclusive post-match interview with SportsBoom, Selby reflected on the challenges presented by Carter, acknowledging the player's recent stellar performance at the Masters. Selby stated, "Ali is one of the in-form players at the moment, played great last week at the Masters and even played well there. With it being best of seven, you don't have to do much wrong to be going out."

 

The match took a decisive turn in the second frame when Selby, despite a strong start, missed a crucial red in the middle. Admitting his mistake, Selby said, "I've made a good break and missed an unforgivable red in the middle, and in this best of sevens, Ali took a good clearance out." However, Selby capitalised on another chance, securing the pivotal win and advancing to the next round.

 

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Selby’s Hometown Hopes and Triumphs

As the tournament unfolds in Leicester, Selby, who has never won this specific event, acknowledged the significance of a victory in his hometown. He expressed, "It would be nice, of course, to win a tournament. I won the WST last year here in Leicester, but there wasn't really a crowd until the quarter-final onwards, so it would've been nice to go on a good run and pick up the trophy."

How to Beat Ronnie O’Sullivan

When contemplating the potential showdown against the legendary Ronnie O'Sullivan in the tournament, Mark Selby candidly underscored the formidable challenge of competing against the greatest player in the game. Expressing the inherent difficulty, Selby commented, "Playing Ronnie in any tournament is tough, obviously, because he is the greatest to play the game. So, if you don't bring your A-game, then victory becomes a formidable task."

 

Selby's acknowledgment of O'Sullivan's unparalleled skill level hints at the gravity of facing such a formidable opponent. The recognition that any lapse in performance against O'Sullivan could be costly speaks volumes about Selby's respect for his fellow competitor and the strategic mindset required to navigate a match against the snooker maestro.

 

The interview delved deeper into Selby's insights, concluding with a discussion on the unique challenges posed by facing Ronnie O'Sullivan in Triple Crown finals. In light of the controversy surrounding O'Sullivan and Ali Carter in the Masters final, Selby's perspective provides a valuable glimpse into the mental fortitude required to handle the pressure of such high stakes matches.

 

“You need to understand that you’re not just playing Ronnie, you’re up against the 95% of the crowd that wants him to win too. Every game against him feels like more or less his home tournament, and it can get quite rowdy. You just need to zone out and not focus on the big crowd against you”, he replied. 

The Judd Trump Clash

Looking ahead to his upcoming clash with Judd Trump, Selby outlined his pragmatic approach, stating, "Just back home tonight. I'll just rest the time. I've got a table back at home, so I'll have probably an hour tomorrow at some point and just relax to come back fresh tomorrow night."

 

This exclusive post-match interview with SportsBoom provides fans with unique insights into Selby's mindset and strategy, making his 4-3 victory over Ali Carter even more captivating. As Selby progresses in the Spreadex World Grand Prix, fans can anticipate more riveting performances from this seasoned snooker maestro.

 

Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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