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Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Monday, 21 January 2008

Experience key to win says Selby

By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport at Wembley

Mark Selby
Selby has joined an elite band of champions after his win

Mark Selby has revealed that reaching the World Championship final at the Crucible last year helped him clinch the Masters title at the first attempt.

The Leicester 24-year-old thrashed Stephen Lee 10-3 in Sunday's final.

And Selby, the provisional world number five, told BBC Sport: "I handled the pressure at the Crucible and that helped me cope at the Masters.

"I got to the final in Sheffield last May and now I have won the Masters - I will take that."

Selby's victory makes him the fifth person, after John Spencer, Doug Mountjoy, Terry Griffiths and Stephen Hendry, to win the Masters on his debut.

And he was quick to pay tribute to the team around him, who he feels he have been influential in his success.

Winning the Masters has given me greater self-belief

Mark Selby

"Ever since I got together with my girlfriend I've felt more stable," he said referring to partner Vicky Leyton.

"With my friends and manager Mukesh Parmar I'm trying to create a team around me who I can trust."

The "Jester from Leicester" turned professional in 1999 but it was not until 2003 when he began to shine on the main tour.

That year he reached his first final, the Regal Scottish, only to be beaten 9-7 by David Gray.

But last season he came to the wider public's attention when he battled his way as a qualifier to the final of the World Snooker Championship.

He lost to John Higgins 18-13, having at one stage been 12-4 down.

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The "Jester" heads the new breed of young players looking to establish themselves among snooker's elite.

Ding Junhui, Mark Allen and Judd Trump are in that pack and Selby advised them to remain patient in their search for success.

"I'd just like to say to them that they should practice hard and believe in themselves. If they do that then they will start winning regularly.

"I got to my first final when I was 19. That gave me confidence but winning the Masters has given me greater self-belief and those coming through should strive for that."

Selby is now 155,000 richer, a sum that includes the extra 5,000 won for notching up the joint-highest break of 141.

But the new Masters champion reckons he will have to keep a keen eye on his winnings.

"The missus will spend more than I will - I'm going to look to invest some of it," he added.

see also
Masters final as it happened
20 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Our man at the Masters
14 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Ask The Ref - Michaela Tabb
18 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Selby and Lee into Masters final
19 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Williams contemplates retirement
15 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Selby ousts Hendry from Masters
14 Jan 08 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan exits in Masters epic
13 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Dad Doherty targets Wembley win
09 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Masters draw
04 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Masters order of play
04 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Masters roll of honour
07 Jan 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
07 Jan 08 |  Snooker


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