Selby ready to battle

02 December 2017 23:11:16 GMTPlus11

World number one Mark Selby is keen to retain the UK Championship title but knows it will not be easy to triumph in York.

Selby faces Scott Donaldson in the second round after being forced to dig deep before knocking out the world number 131 Basem Eltahhan in the first round.

The three-time world champion eventually prevailed 6-4 at the Barbican and is 1/14 to beat Donaldson, a 6-2 winner over John Astley in the first round.

"The last thing you want to do is go out early, especially in a big tournament like this," said Selby.

"I'm ready for battle - and it definitely was one in the first round."

Meanwhile, Ben Woollaston, who beat Xiao Guodong 6-2, faces Yan Bingtao, the runner-up in last week's Northern Ireland Open. Woollaston is 11/5 to win the second-round match.

Elsewhere, Ronnie O'Sullivan has predicted that Jackson Page will be a star of the future after beating the Welsh schoolboy.

O'Sullivan, who has won the tournament on five occasions, faces Cypriot Michael Georgiou in the second round.

After beating the 16-year-old Page, O'Sullivan said: "He's a fantastic talent and a raw talent with a great temperament. The kid has something about him.

"He is by far the best British junior I have seen. He has things to work on but once he does he will be very dangerous. I played okay, but it was nothing special."

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