World number one Mark Selby ‘not the player he was two or three years ago’ says Alan McManus

Mark Selby crashed out of the Players Championship in the first round on Wednesday (Picture: via Getty Images)

Mark Selby’s tough time on the baize continued this week at the Players Championship, falling at the first hurdle against John Higgins on Wednesday.

The three-time world champion has not won a title since the China Championship in September last year and is yet to reach a semi-final in 2019.

It has not been a terrible year for the 35-year-old, who is currently fourth on the one-year ranking list, but he appears a long way from his brilliant best.

Eurosport pundits Alan McManus and Neal Foulds believe that Selby is struggling under the pressure of holding onto his world number one spot.

Selby has been struggling for form this season (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Does the fact we’re seeing Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Williams playing awesome stuff all the time affect Mark Selby?’ McManus suggested.

‘It’s concerning because he’s not the player he was two or three years ago.’

Foulds added: ‘He’s not been the best player this season. O’Sullivan, Trump and others have been better than him this season and he’s fretting.

‘Losing the world number one spot might help him.’

Selby has held the number one spot since 9 February 2015 and has since won two of this three world titles.

He now just has the Tour Championship and China Open to get his form sorted before this year’s World Championship at the Crucible.

‘The Jester from Leicester’ won the China Open in each of the last two years so will see that top prize from 2017 drop off his world ranking. Unless he can improve his form in Beijing, he could lose his number one spot before the World Championship.

MORE: Judd Trump ‘disappointed’ for good pal Jack Lisowski after handing him heartbreaking Players Championship defeat

MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins to equal world record in Players Championship quarter-final


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