Triumphant Mark Selby has set his sights on surpassing Stephen Hendry’s modern-day record of seven World Championship titles after beating John Higgins in Monday’s final.
Selby defeated Higgins 18-15 to claim his third world crown and become only the fourth player after Steve Davis, Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan to retain their Crucible gong.
Four-time tournament winner Higgins said before and after the final that he expects Selby to rival Hendry’s haul, and the Leicester-born 33-year-old insists it is far from impossible.
“That’s fantastic for John to say that, and I respect him as much as anyone in the game,” said Selby. “He’s a great guy, one of the all-time great players, and for him to say that about me is a great accolade.
“If I keep putting myself through another two weeks like that I’m not sure I can get to another four, but as long as I keep enjoying it, keep putting the hard work in, which I will do, then you never know.
“I’m only 33 and you look at somebody like John who’s nearly 42, still getting to world finals, still winning tournaments and playing at the top of his game. If you go by that you could probably say I’ve got another eight or nine years of playing, so who knows?”
Hendry, who tipped Selby to win this year’s competition, told City A.M. last month that he felt his record was safe and would not be overtaken.
“I don’t see it being beaten at this point in time. I don’t think anyone is going to win eight world titles,” he said. “At the moment there are five, six, seven players who all play at a very high and level standard.
“When you have players playing at a similar level or standard then it’s hard for one to pull away.”