Selby: I may have peaked
Mark Selby has warned it will be impossible to maintain the form which saw him demolish Stephen Hendry to reach the Crucible quarter-finals.
The Leicester potter set a new record for the Betfred.com World Championship with six centuries in a 13-4 victory, plus further breaks of 98, 87 and 81.
Selby, 27, goes on to meet Ding Junhui or Stuart Bingham in the last eight and the manner of his display against Hendry saw him installed as favourite to win the title.
However he accepts it will be difficult to continue his hot scoring streak into the later rounds of the tournament, as he bids to become world champion for the first time.
"I don't think I can play much better than I did there," Selby said.
"It's just a matter of sustaining it, that's the hardest thing.
"I know there's probably not a chance of maintaining that standard all the way through, you're going to have bad sessions.
"But what's important is how you cope with those bad sessions and how you come out of them."
It was all over in 10 minutes today as Selby, 12-4 ahead following the opening two sessions, sprinted through the first frame of the afternoon.
Hendry used to inflict such defeats on opponents but this time found himself in the firing line, and admitted there was plenty to admire about his opponent.
"He's playing the best snooker of anybody here, there's no doubt about that," Hendry said.
While Selby blasted Hendry away, John Higgins struggled to shake off Rory McLeod, an inveterate grinder, in their second-round tussle.
The three-time former champion was struggling badly yesterday at only 6-5 ahead, but gradually he gained control over the 40-year-old qualifier from Wellingborough, who coaches Qatar's national team.
He led 10-5 by the end last night and today the Scot converted that into a 13-7 victory, setting up a quarter-final against either Ronnie O'Sullivan or Shaun Murphy.
The match had crawled along through its opening two sessions, and the players could not even complete the first session inside the allocated time.
Higgins said: "It was tough all the way through really.
"Every frame was the same. The black was tied up in every frame and it was so tough to get any rhythm going.
"But take nothing away from Rory, he's a very good tactical player, he knows his way around the safety battles. It was the scoring that let him down."
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn recently suggested referees could urge players to hurry up if they spend too much thinking time between shots, but Higgins believes that would be difficult to police.
Higgins said: "I think the only way that could stop is if a shot-clock was implemented.
"If you're putting the onus on the referees, whether they should be pulling a player up or not, it's hard for them because they get to know the players and are friendly with them.
"If you take it out of the referees' hands and implement a shot-clock, then I think that would eradicate a lot of things."
Higgins was keen not to criticise McLeod, who used defensive tactics to stymie his opponent to decent effect in the early stages, even if it meant long frames.
"It was just the way the game went," Higgins said. "I wouldn't say he was slow."
The beaten man suggested he played his "Z game" but defended his right to make the most of his best attribute - safety.
"The game is called snooker, it's not called 'potting'," McLeod said.
"It's a tactical game, more than 50% of frames go down to the tactical side, and there's a lot more to it than just potting the balls and clearing the table. Sometimes it takes longer, and that's just part of the game - you have to play in all departments.
"For people who know snooker, all of it is entertaining."