Selby feeling the heat as he aims to snatch family bragging rights at the Crucible

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Selby, 38, has made a solid start to his World Championship defence
Selby, 38, has made a solid start to his World Championship defence

By Ben Parsons at the Crucible

Mark Selby is under pressure to regain family bragging rights by claiming his fifth Crucible crown.

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The Jester from Leicester, 38, has not won a ranking event this season and has taken an extended break from the table to deal with mental health problems.

But he’s made a solid start to his World Championship defence after returning to action for the first time in almost seven weeks.

Selby fired in three centuries to overcome resilient qualifier Jamie Jones 10-7 in round one.

And he is keen to emulate his daughter Sofia’s recent sporting success by going all the way to add the latest silverware to the Selby family mantelpiece.

The city potter said: “I’m under pressure because I’ve not won a tournament this season.

“Sofia just won a trophy in her gymnastics last week!

“She said to me ‘daddy, I’ve got more trophies than you this year so make sure you come home with a trophy’, so I’m under it at the moment!”

Selby saves his best snooker for the Crucible, winning four out of the last eight titles at the sport’s spiritual home.

But he revealed in the build-up to the tournament that he considered not defending his crown at the iconic Sheffield theatre.

"I wasn't even thinking of playing in this,” he added.

“I thought I would just give it the next few weeks, see how that goes with the doctor and if I feel a bit better I will come and play, because it would be a shame not to come here as defending champion and try to play.”

Selby does not have high expectations of a deep Crucible run this year but showed positive signs in his victory over Jones.

He now faces Yan Bingtao in round two after the former Masters champion overcame qualifier Chris Wakelin 10-6.

Bingtao, 22, has beaten Selby in their last three meetings and will prove a tough last 16 test.

Selby, who begins his second round clash on Friday afternoon, said: “He has a fantastic temperament.

“He’s got an old head on young shoulders and he’s got the all-round package.

“He’s shown just how good he is over the past few years, especially with winning the Masters at such a young age.

“The last few times he’s played he’s given me a good hiding."

Chinese star Bingtao made nine half-century breaks in a dazzling first round showing.

“This will be a great match because so many people say that me and Selby are similar level players,” Bingtao said.

“Mark has very good control of the table but I have confidence in every match.”