Snooker: O'Sullivan takes Selby loss 'on the chin'

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The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan's World Championship hopes are over for another year after he crashed out at The Crucible last night in a surprise 13-11 defeat to Mark Selby.

O'Sullivan, the tournament favourite, led 9-7 before the final session, and then 11-9, but Selby won four frames in a row to claim a famous victory.

Selby's fine comeback brought back memories of his 10-9 victory over O'Sullivan in this season's Masters final where he had trailed 9-6. The Leicester player will now face Graeme Dott, the 2006 winner, in the semi-finals.

"I had to revert to plan B, I just had to dig in and grind it out," reflected Selby. "I struggled but even at 9-5 I felt I had every chance. Things can turn around if you keep trying your hardest."

O'Sullivan was untroubled by his premature exit. "I take matches like that on the chin," said the three-time Crucible champion. "It [playing] can be a painful experience a lot of the time, but I've stuck in there for a long time. I decided I wasn't going to fight it.

"My bad game has got me through the last 17 years, but I've been shit. I love the game, but I don't need it [snooker]. It's [snooker] in my blood, but I don't need the game although it's like a drug."

Earlier in the day Steve Davis' fairy-tale run at snooker's premier tournament was ended after a 13-5 defeat to Australian Neil Robertson.

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