Mark Selby and Judd Trump battle for world number one amid ‘strange times’


Judd Trump and Mark Selby are scrapping it out at the top of the world rankings (Pictures: Getty)

Mark Selby has described his ongoing battle with Judd Trump at the top of the world rankings as ‘strange times’ as the Jester is set to return to the world number one spot this week, regardless of what happens at the English Open.

Trump relinquished his world number one position to Selby at the British Open, before regaining it at the Northern Ireland Open and will now lose it again this week.

All those changes have happened regardless of results at the three events as ranking points from tournaments two years ago dropped off the world rankings.

The unusual nature of this situation is that big tournaments in China that Trump and Selby two years ago are not being held due to Covid, so their big winnings are dropping off with no chance of defending their points.

It means the pair at the top of the rankings are see-sawing with little they can do about it and Selby says it is not only strange, but harsh on Trump.

‘Going to Northern Ireland, irrelevant of what I’ve done, Judd was always going to be number one,’ the world champion told ‘I think it’s irrelevant what Judd does here and it switches round the other way.

‘It’s strange really but it’s understandable because you’ve got points to defend that you can’t possibly defend from the China tournaments, so it’s just the way it is at the moment, it’s strange times at the moment.

‘Of course it’s always great when someone askes where you’re ranked and you can say number one. It’s great. It was one of my goals to try and get there and stay there as long as possible. Having lost it it’s one of my goals to get it back so it’s great to be back there.

‘The way I got back there is probably a bit harsh on Judd because the last two or three years he’s been the form player by a long stretch so he deserves to be miles in front, which he was.

‘So to be that far in front, then all of a sudden a lot of points come off, some which he can’t defend, is quite harsh.’

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Seventeen

Mark Selby’s fourth World Championship win has helped him back to the top of the rankings (Picture: Getty Images)

Trump has made his feelings clear on not being at the top of the rankings. He believes the fact he has won comfortably more events than anyone else over the last two years (11 to Selby’s five) means he is the best on the planet.

The Ace told WST: ‘I still think I’m the best and until someone wins more tournaments in a calendar year than me I will count myself as the best. I think that is the way it should work.’

Selby and Trump have both won through into the second round at the English Open on Monday, with the world champ beating Sanderson Lam 4-2 and the current world number one seeing off Matt Selt 4-1.

The Jester from Leicester feels his game is in tremendous shape at the moment and is eyeing up more success in the biggest events on the circuit after his Crucible glory on May.

‘I feel as though my game now is as good as ever,’ he said. ‘I’m working hard on the practice table and feeling confident out there. There’s not much more you can ask for.

‘I always try and aim for the Triple Crown events, if you can pinch one of them each year you’ve done well. Winning any tournament nowadays is difficult. Triple Crowns I’m trying to get though, and if you can pinch another one then great.’

Judd Trump dismisses Kyren Wilson’s table complaints: ‘I don’t sympathise, you have to earn it’

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