UK Championship 2014: Mark Selby out to cap 'momentous' year

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Barbican Centre, York
Mark Selby
Mark Selby was beaten 10-7 by Neil Robertson in the final of last year's UK Championship
UK Championship, York Barbican
Dates: 25 November - 7 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, Two, Red Button, online, mobiles and BBC Sport app from 29 November.

Mark Selby hopes to end a momentous year by improving on finishing runner-up at last season's UK Championship.

Selby won the World Championship for the first time in 2014, but said that was eclipsed by then becoming a father.

His wife Vikki gave birth to daughter Sofia Maria on 11 November and Selby said he has barely stopped smiling since, despite the sleep deprivation.

"It's been a great year and hopefully I can cap 2014 off by having a good run in the UK," he told BBC Sport.

"I didn't sleep much for the first five or six nights but from Monday I started practising again and have been sleeping in a different room trying to catch up on my sleep a little bit.

"I am still waking up when she wakes up, but it's been better."

Selby on first-round opponent Oliver Brown
"Oliver has had some good wins this year. He beat Ding Junhui in the first round at the Wuxi Classic and won a couple of matches in Australia. He has shown good potential. I have not really seen him that much but results speak for themselves - that he is a good player and one of the up-and-coming talents."

Selby, who plays Derbyshire amateur Oliver Brown in his first-round match on Wednesday evening, said being a dad was incredible and was quite happy with the change in priorities.

The world number one's focus has understandably been affected by the new arrival at the Selby home in Leicestershire.

This season has seen Selby struggle slightly in the main ranking events, failing to reach a final - although he did win the European Tour event in Latvia.

But the 31-year-old hopes a few nights in the spare room will leave him rejuvenated to go one better than last season in York, where he lost to Neil Robertson in the final.

"I have been practising on my own a little bit so I am not sure how I will play match-wise," Selby, the 2012 UK Championship winner, said.

"It seems to have come around very quickly. With so many tournaments and all that I have had going on, things seem like a blur.

"But hopefully I will be coming in fresh."