Mark Selby beaten by debutant in World Snooker Championship first round

Mark Selby has fallen at the first hurdle (Picture: Getty Images)

Mark Selby has suffered a stunning upset loss in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship, beaten 10-6 by debutant Joe O’Connor at the Crucible.

The four-time world champion is always among the favourites to get his hands on the trophy in Sheffield and this year was no different, despite an indifferent season and a lack of confidence heading into the World Championship.

Those struggles for form that Selby has shown over the campaign were on show in the resounding defeat to his fellow Leicester man, with only brief flashes of his brilliant best.

O’Connor, though, was superb and appeared nerveless on his first trip to the Crucible as he developed a big lead in the first session.

After the first four frames were shared, the 28-year-old went on a brilliant run of scoring, knocking in breaks of 122, 67, 101, 74 and 61 to finish the session 7-2 ahead.

Selby started the second session strongly on Monday, with a break of 112 in the opener and went into the mid-session interval only 8-5 behind.

The underdog was not to be rattled, though, and went one away from victory with a half-century in the 14th frame.

2024 Cazoo World Snooker Championship - Day 2

Joe O’Connor has sprung a huge surprise in Sheffield (Picture: Getty Images)

Selby toko the next but O’Connor continued to show nerves of steel, taking on the big shots and getting over the line for a 10-6 victory and the biggest win of his career.

O’Connor was a huge underdog to beat his long-time friend and occasional practice partner, but the brilliant win sees him make the last 16 on debut, where he will take on either Kyren Wilson or Dominic Dale.

More to follow…

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