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Selby suffers shock defeat

MARK Selby helped to match a Crucible record as he was knocked out of the World Championship - but it was one he would have wanted no part of.

World number one Selby last night lost 10-3 to Dartford-based qualifier Barry Hawkins, as the neck problem which forced him out of the recent China Open seriously affected his movement.

Selby said: "I was trying my best out there but there were certain shots I couldn't physically play."

And in making his way out of the tournament the 28-year-old became the eighth seeded victim in the first round, a total that equals the record number from 1992.

If Judd Trump can win the tournament, he will overtake Selby to rise to the top of the rankings.

But Trump has his own health issue to deal with and was planning to spend today in bed, recovering from the bout of food poisoning which almost prompted the 22-year-old to withdraw from the tournament on Tuesday morning. Trump eventually came from behind to beat Dominic Dale 10-7.

Indeed, the Crucible was a magnet for players with fitness and medical issues yesterday. Dale explained he had been struggling throughout their match with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition causing an uncomfortable sensation in his hands.

And in the evening session, Ali Carter made his entrance to the tournament, having recently played down his own suggestion his struggle with Crohn's Disease could end his career prematurely.

Carter made a promising start, building a hefty 8-1 overnight lead over Mark Davis.

Trump is expecting to be in better shape for his second-round clash with the winner of that match starting on Saturday.

However, after waking up in a sweat in the early hours of Tuesday, before spending 90 minutes throwing up, the Bristol-based cueman considered going home.

Asked how close he came to pulling out, Trump said: "The closest I've ever been in a professional tournament.

Graeme Dott, the 34-year-old world number nine, was crushed 10-1 by Joe Perry, who goes straight into a second-round tussle with Stephen Maguire this evening.

China's great hope, Ding Junhui, threw away a 9-6 lead to lose 10-9 against Wales' Ryan Day.

Ding cannot have endeared himself to the Sheffield crowds with his after-match comments. Ding said: "I don't think I played well. I don't think the table's right. I don't think the fans are right. All rubbish. Rubbish fans."

At least he is unlikely to be booed on his next visit. That was the experience Mark Williams had to endure yesterday, as the Welshman began his opening-round match against China's Liu Chuang.

Williams' criticism of snooker's flagship venue on the eve of the World Championship riled many, and the 37-year-old was targeted by a large number of spectators as he was introduced to the crowd.

He wore a chastened look as he stepped down onto the theatre floor but put the experience behind him to open a 6-3 overnight lead. Williams will be hoping for a warmer reception when he and Liu play to a finish this evening for the right to play Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round.


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