Selby through despite neck injury


Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

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World number one Mark Selby booked his place in the second round of the China Open after beating Mark Joyce 5-3 despite suffering from neck pain.

The 31-year-old world champion’s form was hampered by a neck problem three years ago but he persevered on Tuesday to advance – having raced into a three-frame lead over Joyce.

Wallsall’s Joyce fought back to win three of the next four before Selby sealed his spot in the second round courtesy of a 90 break in the eighth frame.

“Yesterday I pulled my neck again, as I did a few years ago. So I felt a bit uncomfortable out there,” said Selby. “Hopefully it won’t be as bad as it was before and I’ll be okay within the next few days. Yesterday I was struggling so I did some stretches, took some painkillers and had a massage.

“It felt okay before the match started, then at the interval I went to the toilet and slipped, and felt it. I can get down on the shot, it’s just a little bit of pain so hopefully it will wear off. My health is more important than anything else.”

Judd Trump, who staged a tremendous comeback to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan and claim the World Grand Prix crown earlier in the month, ended Andrew Higginson’s hopes of turning the tables as he also recorded a 5-3 win to progress.

Having gone 3-1 up courtesy of two three-figure breaks, Trump saw Higginson battle back to 3-3 before taking the final two frames.

There were also wins for John Higgins and Mark Williams, who saw off the threat of two Chinese players in Yu Delu and Zhao Xintong, respectively.

Joe Perry lost the final three frames to be eliminated 5-3 by David Gilbert whilst Michael White beat Ken Doherty after a 74 break in a deciding frame.

Elsewhere, Shaun Murphy and Michael Leslie eased through whilst Graeme Dott came from 3-2 down to beat Daniel Wells and reach the second round.

Published: Tuesday 31st March 2015 by The News Editor

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