Mark Selby says facing Judd Trump is a similar challenge to taking on Ronnie O’Sullivan as the pair prepare for a rare meeting in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals.
Both men triumphed in dramatic deciding-frames on Tuesday, with Selby edging Hossein Vafaei 6-5 and Trump beating Jack Lisowski by the same scoreline.
Outside of short-format events, the two former world champions first met way back in 2008, but it has not been a regular occurance at all in recent years.
They have played just once in the last four years, with Trump getting the better of the Jester from Leicester in the semi-finals of the 2022 Champion of Champions.
Selby is excited about the challenge, although he is well aware that an in-form Trump is a huge test.
‘It gets easier dont it?’ Selby joked after beating Vafaei. ‘I can’t rememebr the last time I played Judd, I think it’s been quite a while.
‘I think the last time I played him would have been hte Champion of Chamions at Bolton, semi-final. He played well and beat me there.
‘Looking forward to it. It’s always great to play Judd, you always know you’ve got to turn up. Very similar to playing Ronnie.
‘I’ll have a day off and come back fresh Thursday.’
Trump has been aware of his lack of opportunities against Selby for some time, noting back in 2021: ‘Everyone likes rivalries but we haven’t met at all over the last couple of years, we’ve barely played.’
With just one match between them since, he is also looking forward to the challenge, although points out that Selby is looking as good now as he has done for a while.
‘I haven’t played Mark Selby…whenever we’re due to meet one of us loses. We don’t evet meet,’ said Trump.
‘He’s a different player than the last two or three years, the last season he looks completely different, I think he’s due.’
While a meeting between the two top players has proved rare of late, a clash in a final is far more elusive with their only showpiece together coming all the way back at the China Open in 2011, which Trump won 10-8.
The quarter-final in Shanghai is on Thursday 14 September at 7am UK time.
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