World No.1 Selby suffers shock Guild Hall exit

Mark Selby in action on Wednesday (photo: Michael Ellison)
Mark Selby in action on Wednesday (photo: Michael Ellison)
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There were two notable casualties in the first round of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston yesterday - Mark Selby and Anthony Hamilton.

World number one Selby lost 4-3 to Martin Gould at Preston’s Guild Hall, while Mark Allen crushed German Masters winner Hamilton 4-0.

Selby lost the first two frames but replied with an 87 - only for Pinner’s Gould to move within a frame of victory with a clearance of 142.

‘The Jester from Leicester’ hit back though, edging the next frame and taking the contest to a decider with a clearance of 64.

However, Gould maintained his composure and - after a rerack - made sure of his place in the last 16, helped by a break of 54.

He told ITV4 afterwards: “It’s always a big win - he’s the comeback king. I felt really good out there all match.”

Joining him in the second round is Allen, who crushed German Masters winner Hamilton 4-0.

The Northern Irishman took control with breaks of 55, 85 and 78, then finished the job impressively with a clearance of 140.

Elsewhere there were 4-2 wins for Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui - against Ricky Walden and Yu Delu respectively.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is Robertson’s opponent in the second round and the Australian said: “It’s going to be nice to go into a game where no one expects me to win.”

Meanwhile, O’Sullivan insists he will no longer give in-depth interviews after the latest controversy regarding his comments to the media.

The former world number one has revealed he received “another disciplinary letter” from governing body World Snooker after criticising semi-final referee Terry Camilleri and a press photographer en route to winning his seventh Masters title last month at Alexandra Palace.

O’Sullivan is back in action at this week’s World Grand Prix in Preston, where he caused a stir by giving a bizarre interview to ITV Sport after his win over Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao on Tuesday.

Responding to questions from former player Neal Foulds, O’Sullivan gave only brief answers to the first five questions before adopting a stilted, robotic voice.

In second round matches yesterday, Shaun Murphy (Eng) bt Ding Junhui (Chn) 4-3, Mark King (Eng) bt Ali Carter (Eng) 4-3, and Ryan Day (Wal) bt Michael White (Wal) 4-2.