Mark Selby near faultless in Rob Milkins win but slams ‘brain-dead’ Masters noise

Mark Selby cruised into the Masters quarter-finals (Picture: Getty Images)

Mark Selby was delighted with his impressive performance in a 6-1 thrashing of Rob Milkins in the first round of The Masters, but was less than impressed with the noise coming from the fancy seats.

The three-time champion was in great form as he brushed Milkins aside, making breaks of 119, 53, 63, 70 and 74, setting up a brilliant quarter-final with Mark Allen on Friday night.

The Milkman really struggled to find anything like his best, and other than a great break of 88 in the fifth, he won’t leave Alexandra Palace with many great memories.

Milkins did get a chance in the fourth frame, though, when Selby missed a simple red thanks to a loud clatter of crockery from the Century Club, with someone dropping something and making a racket at an inopportune time.

The Century Club allows fans to chat, eat and drink while the match is on, and while the players can’t hear much from the prawn sandwich brigade, they can clearly hear some noise and Selby was not happy about it at all.

‘On the way through [on the shot] and someone dropped cutlery or a plate and I was so frustrated,’ Selby told Eurosport. ‘I knew it was a big frame and I thought if I pot that, the way I was playing, I fancied winning the frame. The difference between 4-0 and 3-1 is massive.

‘It [the Century Club] is great but how can they not sound-proof it? It’s brain dead, I can’t understand. You shouldn’t be able to hear the noise, however much noise they’re making.’

The Jester from Leicester will not be losing sleep about it, though, after turning in a very impressive performance and building confidence ahead of a big clash with Allen.

‘I felt like other than one or two balls I more or less played faultless,’ he said. ‘I felt my safety was good, felt calm out there, happy with the way I played, for sure.

‘In my technique at the minute, I’m just confident in what I’m doing. Whether I’m potting the long balls or not, I’m fancying them when I’m going for them. There’s nothing worse than looking at a shot thinking, I need to be going for this but I don’t fancy it at all.

‘Even in the UK [Championship] I felt I played well the first two games, just got off to a slow start against Judd [Trump]. Obviously against players of that quality you can’t afford to do that.’

MrQ Masters Snooker 2024 - Day Four

Robert Milkins has a difficult night at Alexandra Palace (Picture: Getty Images)

Allen had a much twitchier time of it in his opening game earlier on Wednesday, edging past John Higgins with a 6-5 win.

Selby is expecting a serious scrap with the Pistol on Friday night, but fancies his chances with the form he is in.

‘Looking forward to it,’ he said. ‘Mark’s a class act and always a tough game, he doesn’t give you anything. I need to play somewhere similar to that [tonight], I felt like when I got a chance I was going to score and that’s all you can ask for.

‘As long as I can go into a match knowing I’m happy with what I’m doing, I know I’ve got a chance of winning any game.’


MORE : Mark Allen says it’s ‘sad seeing the way John Higgins is now’ after Masters win


MORE : John Higgins on Masters malaise, Mark Allen, Macau and his retirement quandary

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