Rob Milkins was unlucky to lose against Mark Selby in the quarter-finals of the China Open, a loss that consigned him to the qualifiers at Ponds Forge.

With all the added extra pressure of having a possible Crucible place at stake at the expense of Stephen Maguire, Milkins – as Selby admitted afterwards – was probably the better player but let things slip from 4-3 up to go down 5-4.

However with his Ponds Forge odyssey due to start later in the week Milkins wasted no time before his Saturday evening flight home, and was hard at work on the practise table at the venue when Selby came in to work on some things during the mid-session interval of his semi-final with Kurt Maflin.

“I find it always takes me a couple of days to feel right after coming back from China,” said Milkins. “The set-up here is really good and no one is on the tables really once it gets down to the last few, so I thought I might as well get some practice in here.”