World champion John Higgins suffered a shock defeat against Matthew Selt in the first round of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.
Selt, 43rd in the world rankings, had never won a match in the televised stages of a ranking event before but ended that record in style with a 5-4 victory over four-time Crucible winner Higgins.
After defeating Higgins at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo, Victoria, Selt now has a last 16 match with Stephen Hendry, a seven-time world champion.
“John Higgins is the greatest player of all time and Stephen Hendry is the greatest winner of all time,” said 26-year-old Selt.
“I knew I could compete at this level and career wise beating John is a great achievement.
“I’ve just won my first match on tv and now I feel like a proper player. If I play well this week I can go all the way and this has given me the belief that I can do it.”
Higgins’ defeat completes a disappointing few days for the Scot after he was and team-mate Stephen Maguire were in the Scottish team that were knocked out of the Snooker World Cup in the quarter-finals.
“This was a bad game to lose,” said Higgins. “From being 4-1 in front and having the game in my grasp in two or three of the frames I threw them away.
“Maybe 4-1 flattered me a bit and fair play to Matthew he played very well in the end and his safety game was very good.
“I’m disappointed but maybe it’s because I haven’t put in the hours practising since winning the World Championship.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re world champion or world number 300, you need to put the work in and if you don’t, you don’t get anywhere.
“I’ve not started the season yet. It’s only been a short time since the end of the last one and I’ve been spending it with my family but I need to knuckle down.”
Ali Carter, the world number six, lost 5-3 to Marcus Campbell, despite making a break of 134 in the second frame.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great we have all these tournaments but I can’t wait to get home to be honest,” said Carter.
“I’ve a boy who is 18 months old and I’ve not seen him for three weeks so that’s more important to me to get home and be with my family.”
Shaun Murphy believes he can use his disappointment at missing out on the World Cup to spur him on to a successful season.
Murphy missed out on playing in the Snooker World Cup as Mark Selby and Ali Carter were ranked ahead of him, Carter by only one place and 70 points.
“It did hurt and it was hard not being at the World Cup, especially missing out by such a small margin,” admitted Murphy. “It shows how important each match is and if I had won one of the PTC matches I lost then I would’ve been in Thailand.
“I missed out on playing in the World Cup by 70 ranking points and in our game that works out at about one match here or there.
“I definitely want to be in the World Cup next year and represent my country so I must try harder.”
Murphy beat Rory McLeod 5-1 to move into the quarter-finals, while Mark Allen beat Ryan Day 5-3 and Dominic Dale beat Australian amateur Steve Mifsud 5-2.
But Neil Robertson kept home hopes alive with a 5-2 success over Nigel Bond.
“This is my first time playing a professional ranking tournament in my country and I’m relieved to get through,” said Robertson.
“I’m very tired and just wanted to get it over and done with. This match was always going to be tough and it would’ve been a disaster if all three Australians had gone out in the first two days.
“I’m absolutely shattered and some of these players were in Wuxi (China), thenBangkok then here.
“If I won this tournament it would boost the popularity of Australian snooker and the turn out for the first round was pretty good. Hopefully we can get some massive crowds and create a fantastic atmosphere for my next match.”