Mark Selby has revealed he suffered a ‘relapse’ in his battle with depression following his exit from Masters.
The reigning world champion was beaten 6-1 by Barry Hawkins in his quarter-final at Alexandra Palace on Friday after taking just one break from 50 in a lackluster first-round win over Stephen Maguire.
Selby called his performance against Hawkins “pathetic from start to finish” on the official World Snooker Tour website after the match, and on social media on Saturday opened up about the struggles behind his underperformance.
“I just want to apologize to all my friends and family for letting them down,” he tweeted. “Mentally not in the right place at the moment, I’ve had a relapse and trying to contain it and look good isn’t the answer. I promise I’ll get help and become a better person. # Mental Health”
Jason Ferguson, president of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, offered his support for Selby.
Ferguson told Metro: “The WPBSA is not just a governing body, it is a membership association which includes a player support body for World Snooker Tour players.
“We are always sorry to hear if any of our players are going through a difficult time, support is there for Mark and any other members playing on the WST.”
Selby’s professional colleagues were quick to support him.
Shaun Murphy, 2005 world champion and co-winner of Selby’s triple crown, told BBC Sport: “You never know what’s going on between someone’s ears, especially in a high-pressure sport like snooker.
“We’re alone, traveling, in hotels, everything else – I just hope he’s okay and whatever help he needs, I hope he gets.
“World champion, world number one, he expects a lot from himself and anything less than a perfect performance is going to bother him.”
Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry added: “I have no idea how difficult it is for Mark. I watched part of his game and he didn’t look good at all.
“I just hope he gets some help, that he gets better, because obviously his World Championship defense will be in April and May.”