JAMIE Jones was ‘suffocated’ by Mark Selby but thinks his run to the Scottish Open semi-finals will be the spark to ignite his season.

The Neath player embarked on a memorable run to the last four but ran into a resurgent Selby, who knocked in three brilliant century breaks to beat him 6-1.

Jones, the world No.80, is returning to the professional tour this year after serving a one-year ban for failing to report knowledge of approaches of match-fixing.

His run to a third career semi-final hauled him into this week’s World Grand Prix and Jones, who toppled world No.5 Kyren Wilson in the last eight, can’t wait to hit the Milton Keynes baize once more.


The upbeat 32-year-old said: “I ran into an absolute wall with him tonight.

“He completely suffocated me of chances – when he got in, he didn’t miss a ball and I couldn’t fault him. It was nearly the perfect game.

“I found it very, very tough out there and it shows the standard of the top boys.

“But I don’t feel demoralised or disappointed – you can feel embarrassed sometimes when you get a good hammering but he played so good, he was nearly unplayable.

“I’ve had five wins this week against five great players, so I’ve got to be happy. I’m finding my way back on the tour and have got a couple of wins under the belt.

“I’m in the Grand Prix this week which is another bonus for me. I didn’t expect to be doing as well as I’m doing, or consistently as I am, so soon.

“I’m just looking forward now – it’s another game [at the Grand Prix] and hopefully they don’t play like that against me. I’m hoping to have a good run there.”

Jones beat Daniel Wells, Matthew Stevens, Sam Craigie, Eden Sharav and Wilson to navigate his way to the last four but a clash against Selby – the defending Scottish Open champion – proved a step too far.

The three-time world champion knocked in fluent breaks of 128, 123 and 101 and hailed a ‘perfect’ performance after booking a final against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Jones’ run at the Marshall Arena catapulted him from No.24 to No.10 on the one-year rankings list, with the circuit’s top 32 players all qualifying for the Grand Prix.

He revelled in the experience in front of the television cameras and hopes learning from the best can propel him to a maiden career trophy later in the season.

“Just to get into those situations – it’s different playing in front of the cameras,” he added.

“[Selby’s] the ultimate competitor. You know how much of an animal he is and he didn’t even give me a chance. I’m not even disappointed to be honest – I think 99 per cent of the tour would have lost 6-0 or 6-1 to him.

“If I can win a few games and get a little bit more experience out there, hopefully I can be like Selby and give someone a hammering in the semis one day!”

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