Champion Selby wants to 'shut the critics up'

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World number one Mark Selby said he wanted to “shut the critics up” after beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in a high-quality UK Championship final.

The 33-year-old world champion made three century breaks and six further half-centuries to win 10-7 and claim the title for the second time in York.

But his gritty style of play has often been questioned by viewers and pundits, who claim he is too slow and boring.

“With the criticism I get, it inspires me even more,” he told BBC Sport.

“It makes me want to try harder.”

‘Not everyone’s naturally talented’

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Selby became only the sixth player to win both the World and UK titles in the same year, and only the sixth player to twice complete the Triple Crown – which also includes the Masters.

The Leicester man has now won 10 ranking titles, taking him into joint-eighth position alongside Jimmy White.

Having gone 6-2 ahead in the first session, which included two frames lasting over half an hour, he responded to O’Sullivan’s onslaught in the evening session by reeling off back-to-back centuries to triumph.

“I understand not everyone out there is going to play as naturally as Ronnie, he is a one-off,” said Selby.

“You see people who are naturally talented and others have to work hard. I hold my hands up to know I have to work at it but I would rather it be that way.”

Asked if his victory was sweet as it came against O’Sullivan, Selby replied: “To beat Ronnie is great. In my eyes, if he plays in every tournament then he is still the best player and the one to beat. To play him in a major final and to win is a great feeling.”

‘Playing me like a cup final for opponents’

O’Sullivan admitted after his final-frame win over Marco Fu in the semi-finals that he would be the underdog against Selby.

‘The Rocket’ has now been beaten by Selby in the finals of all three Triple Crown events, and called him ‘The Torturer’ in his autobiography in reference to his style of play.

O’Sullivan, 41 on Monday, said: “It seems like when someone plays me it is a cup final for them, like Stephen Hendry in his day. Whoever he played, it was a big match.

“As long as I continue to play, whoever I play, it will be big. People like playing someone who has won so many tournaments. It is like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in tennis. They stand out from everyone else.”

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