O’Donnell Outlasts ‘Marathon Man’ Selby


Mark Selby was playing his ninth match in as many days at the BetVictor English Open on Tuesday night, and fatigue caught up with the four-time Crucible king as he lost 4-2 to world number 104 Martin O’Donnell.

Match schedule / Tickets

Selby reached the final of last week’s Cazoo British Open in Cheltenham before a 10-7 defeat against Mark Williams in a bruising battle on Sunday night. He beat Xing Zihao in his first round match in Brentwood on Tuesday afternoon, but then looked jaded in his last 64 tie. Londoner O’Donnell took advantage with a fine performance, highlighted by breaks of 51, 102 and 58. He now meets Stephen Maguire or Louis Heathcote.

“I could see Mark was struggling a bit towards the end of his match this afternoon. But he’s  a marathon man, he has won the world title four times and he has got more stamina than anyone else in the game,” said former world number 34 O’Donnell, who was relegated from the tour in 2022 but bounced back this year to regain his place.

“If anyone can dig out a result when he is tired, it’s Mark. I took nothing for granted, kept my focus all the way through and tried to put pressure on him.  The TV table was lovely, a joy to play on. I don’t get to play on that table often, and when I do it’s usually against an absolute machine. It was nice to pot some long balls and create chances.

“I will go to bed buzzing tonight but there is no point beating Mark and then losing in the next round. Tomorrow is another today and I need to be on top of my game otherwise I’ll be going home. It’s a fresh start for me this season. The tournaments are coming thick and fast now and tonight’s result gives me some momentum.”

Oliver Lines knocked out Kyren Wilson on Monday night, and followed up today with a 4-1 defeat of Martin Gould. “My confidence is growing in each game,” said Lines. “I learned a lot about myself last night when I beat Kyren, in terms of how I can handle those kind of situations.

“There’s no reason why I can’t go deep this week. I talk to my dad and coach Steve Feeney a lot, trying to think more positively about life and then that carries through to snooker. The best players always play the right shot, even if it’s risky, and I am trying to do that myself.”

Gary Wilson came from 3-1 down to edge out Dominic Dale 4-3, while Mark Allen earned a 4-1 success against Wu Yize.

O’Donnell Outlasts ‘Marathon Man’ Selby World Snooker.

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