Contemplating the fuss manufactured from Andy Murray for making it to No1 in tennis for the primary time, it should absolutely be value doffing the cap within the route of Mark Selby.
That isn’t to denigrate Murray in any manner. He deserves nice credit score for at all times pushing himself, and by no means accepting a spot within the prime 10 and a snug life, an accusation you may stage at gamers equivalent to Tomas Berdych.
Murray suffered so many humbling grand slam ultimate losses to the likes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer that overhauling them could have been a really candy second.
However what of Selby in snooker? On the time of writing in York the reigning world champion has been on the summit in snooker for 94 weeks in a row, and that appears nearly sure to be prolonged to a minimum of February, previous the 100-week mark, and the two-year milepost.
Whereas Selby is not going to come prime of any checklist for consecutive years at No1, there are apparent causes for that. Stephen Hendry was head boy for eight years in a row, Steve Davis for seven, and Ray Reardon for six.
However crucially these achievements got here underneath the previous system the place a rating was held for the entire season. Your rating stayed the place you completed in Might for your entire following marketing campaign.
This casts the 33-year-old Selby’s achievement in a totally totally different and higher mild. Beneath the post-2010 rolling, fluid system with rankings often up to date and fierce competitors on the prime, his present run is nothing short of extraordinary.
And he hasn’t been only a flat-track bully within the smaller, much less excessive profile and decrease stress tournaments. He has in fact received the world championship twice since 2014
For the reason that rating system went ‘rolling’ Selby has been prime for as of right now for a complete of 1,400 days and counting, the final 659 in a row. That complete is significantly greater than all of the others (Ding Junhui, Judd Trump, Mark Williams, Neil Robertson and John Higgins) put collectively.
Selby by his personal admission struggled the primary time he acquired to No1, feeling underneath stress to show why he was there each time he was introduced as such and got here to the desk. However he has discovered to hold the mantle with far larger ease this time round.
He stays, in that time-honoured sporting phrase, very, very laborious to beat; he’s step by step upping a tally of rating titles that till not too long ago seemed below-par; and is at all times an enormous impediment within the path of any participant with designs on a serious title.
And never that it fairly carries its former significance, however Selby has now completed the season as world No1 for the final 5 years.
Selby’s lead is so giant, round £330,000 on the time of writing, that even when he didn’t earn one other pound till the German Masters, that he received two years in the past, it’s just about unattainable that he will be deposed by then, particularly with the invitational Mastersat Alexandra Palace first prize of £200,000 not counting.
As Selby moved into the quarter-finals on the Betway UK Championship, teeing up a conflict with both John Higgins or Mark Allen, the No1 tag feels much more like a badge of honour than a burden today, even when his fiercely decided type is just not prime of each fan’s TV wishlist. Let’s face it, who’s today?
However extra importantly, Selby’s constant excellence and stage of efficiency ought to be recognised.