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Selby calls for “soundproof” Century Club after Masters disturbance

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Selby was unimpressed by a noise from the Century Club at Alexandra Palace (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark Selby has urged Masters organisers to “soundproof” the Century Club following a disturbance during his 6-1 win over Robert Milkins.

The three-time champion soared through to the last eight at Alexandra Palace after a dominant performance against the Milkman on Wednesday.

Selby hit breaks of 119, 74, 70, 63 and 53 to set up a showdown with Mark Allen in what will be his 11th Masters quarter-final.

Although, it was not all smiles for the Jester, who was visibly frustrated by a loud crashing noise that emanated from the Century Club during frame four.

Introduced in recent years and situated at the back of the central block of seats, the luxurious hospitality suite enables VIP guests to wine and dine while they enjoy a brilliant view of the action as it unfolds.

Leading 20-1, Selby was disturbed as he delivered the cue while attempting a thin red, which he subsequently missed and uncharacteristically swung his cue in the direction of the Century Club.

“It’s not as if I’m on my backswing and I can stop,” he told Eurosport. “I’m on the way through and somebody’s dropped cutlery on a plate as loud as you want.

“I was so frustrated. I knew it was a big frame. The way I was playing, if I potted that [red] then I fancied winning the frame, and 4-0 or 3-1 is massive. I was lucky I got away with it.

“It’s great to have that Century Club there, I think it’s amazing. I was up there the day before I played and it’s great. But how can they not soundproof it? It’s just brain dead, I just don’t understand.

“People are paying a lot of money to go up there. You want them to have a good time and have a drink. That’s fine, that’s what they should be doing. But you shouldn’t be able to hear the noise, no matter how much they’re making. Even [referee] Rob [Spencer] said he could hear quite a lot of chatting.

“This game can switch on just one ball. If I’d have missed and stuck it up and Rob goes 3-1, who’s to say he comes out after the interval, I miss a few and that could be the turning point in the match.”

Thankfully for Selby, the incident had no bearing on the result as he claimed only his fifth win in 15 matches at the Masters.

Indeed, despite his three triumphs and reaching a further two finals in his first seven appearances, he has failed to progress beyond the last eight at snooker’s most prestigious invitational event since defeat by Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2014 showpiece.

“I felt good before the start of the match. The last few days, I feel like I’ve been hitting [the ball] okay,” he added.

“It’s nice to actually put that performance – what I’ve been playing like on the practise table – out here on the match table.

“Other than one or two balls, I more or less played faultless. I felt calm out there and I’m happy with the way I played.

“Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to stay in the tournament too long the last few years. It’s a tough tournament to do well in. The period I had for four or five years before [his barren run] made me realise how well I did. Every match out there is capable of being a final.”

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