Sunday, 6 January 2013

Selby starts the year in style

World number one Mark Selby began 2013 in the same way he ended 2012 - with a trophy.

After finishing the year on a high with his capture of the UK Championship and a return to the top of the world rankings, big things are expected of fit-again Selby in 2013.

His 4-3 victory against Graeme Dott in the Munich Open final was the perfect start.

Picture by Monique Limbos
The win had an air of trademark Selby grit about it as he looks to have rekindled his winning instincts. Good safety play coupled with an ability to take the chances this creates has always been the backbone of his accomplished game. He is unlikely to drift from a formula that has always brought him great success.

A neck injury which derailed his charge for titles for a large chunk of 2012 is long in the past. It now looks like he's ready and raring to go to make this year really count.

This may go down as a great start for the Jester but it's also a fine finish as he wins the last PTC event of the season before the Grand Finals back in Galway in March.

You can't help but feel sorry for Dott in this match. He has yet to win a PTC event and looked almighty close when he led the match 3-2.

His run to the final is victory enough for Dott though I suspect who looked and sounded downtrodden after defeat to Shaun Murphy at the UK Championship in December.

Graeme perhaps hasn't capitalised on the volume of extra events in the past two years like some of the other top players around him. In fact, he's looked quite disillusioned with the game at times with the burden of so many events taking its toll.

Seeing a top player look so drained is never nice to see. His lack of enthusiasm to play has been plain for all to see at times. So, to start this calendar year with such a good run at least fuels some renewed belief that he can get himself back on track.

Selby isn't having any such trouble in the motivation department. In fact, his ability to play his best snooker at all events, big or small, is one of his finest qualities and the chief reason for his position as world number one.

Watch out. Selby could be winding up for a very big year.

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