Mark Selby is one of the most successful snooker players of the modern era as one of only six players to have won the World Championship on four or more occasions.
Known as the ‘Jester from Leicester’, Selby is one of only six players to have won each of snooker’s triple crown events on two or more occasions, with eight major victories in total.
He finished the season as world number one on seven successive occasions from 2012-2018, retaining an unbroken spell at the top from February 2015 – March 2019.
Selby has compiled over 600 centuries during the course of his professional career, including three maximum breaks. Most notably he compiled snooker’s 100th recognised 147 break at the 2013 UK Championship against Ricky Walden.
During the 2016/17 season he won a then record-equalling five ranking event titles (since topped by Judd Trump during 2019/20), including both the World Championship and UK Championship.
Since his defeat to Shaun Murphy at the 2014 World Open Selby has won 17 of his next 19 ranking event finals, losing only to Ding Junhui at the 2016 Shanghai Masters and Ryan Day at the 2021 Shoot Out.
A former English Under-15 champion, Selby turned professional in 1999 but it wasn’t until the 2002 China Open where he would first demonstrate his potential by defeating Joe Swail, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan to reach his first ranking semi-final.
The following year he went one better, reaching the final of the 2003 Scottish Open (l. David Gray) to break into the world’s top 32 for the first time.
In 2005 Selby qualified for the televised stages of the World Championship for the first time, losing 10-5 to John Higgins on his Crucible debut. A year later however and he would be back in Sheffield and this time would avenge his defeat to reigning Masters champion Higgins with a 10-4 reverse, ultimately losing 13-8 to Mark Williams in the last 16.
The following year he would play Higgins at the World Championship once again, but this time it would be in the final following victories against Stephen Lee, Peter Ebdon, Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy. Although he would lose 18-13, having at once stage recovered from 12-4 down to just 12-11, Selby had vaulted up into the world’s top 16 for the first time at number 11.
Masters, Ranking Titles
Selby claimed his first major title at the 2008 Masters at Wembley Arena with a 10-3 success against Stephen Lee, before coming back from 8-5 down to defeat Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Welsh Open a month later to capture his first ranking event title.
During the early part of his career in particular, the Masters would prove a happy hunting ground for Selby as he went on to reach a further four finals during the next six years, emerging victorious in 2010 and 2013.
He would however have to wait over three years before adding to his ranking event haul, beating Mark Williams 10-9 at the 2011 Shanghai Masters to also become world number one for the first time.
A year later he won the UK Championship in York for the first time, defeating Shaun Murphy 10-6 to complete the second leg of the career triple crown.
The catalyst for the most successful period of Selby’s career would come with his victory at the 2014 World Championship in Sheffield. There he saw off Michael White, Ali Carter, Alan McManus and Neil Robertson to reach his second final, before coming back from 10-5 down against defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan to win 18-14.
Only his fourth ranking event title at the time, the victory saw him become the ninth player to win each of snooker’s ‘big three’ tournaments during the course of his career.
The victory would kick start a run of success between 2014-2017 during which he established himself as the tour’s most dominant player. In 2016 he regained the world title for a second time following victory against Ding Junhui, before defending the crown for the first time in 2017, coming back from 10-4 behind against John Higgins in the final to claim an 18-15 win.
During the 2016/17 season he captured five ranking event titles in all, equalling the record previously set by Stephen Hendry and Ding Junhui.
Selby would remain a regular contender for silverware, adding a further seven ranking titles in the period following his 2017 Crucible triumph, to the end of 2020.
His success including becoming only the second player to win the China Open on three separate occasions in 2018, while the following year he became the first player to win more than one Home Nations Series tournaments during the same season following his victories at the English Open and Scottish Open.
Following a relatively fallow period however, which would ultimately culminate in him losing the world number one ranking in March 2019, he would return to the pinnacle of the sport at the 2021 World Championship with an 18-15 victory against Shaun Murphy yielding a fourth triumph in Sheffield.
WST Ranking Event Titles (20)
- 2020/21: European Masters, Scottish Open, World Championship
- 2019/20: English Open, Scottish Open
- 2018/19: China Championship
- 2017/18: International Championship, China Open
- 2016/17: Paul Hunter Classic, International Championship, UK Championship, China Open, World Championship
- 2015/16: World Championship
- 2014/15: German Masters, China Open
- 2013/14: World Championship
- 2012/13: UK Championship
- 2011/12: Shanghai Masters
- 2007/08: Welsh Open
WST Minor-Ranking Event Titles (7)
- 2015/16: Gdynia Open
- 2014/15: Riga Open
- 2013/14: Antwerp Open
- 2012/13: Paul Hunter Classic, FFB Open
- 2011/12: Paul Hunter Classic
- 2010/11: Players Tour Championship – Event 2
Professional Non-Ranking Event Titles (6)
- 2018/19: Haining Open
- 2017/18: Haining Open
- 2012/13: Masters
- 2011/12: Wuxi Classic
- 2009/10: Masters
- 2007/08: Masters