Selby crowned UK snooker champion
Mark Selby became the 36th winner of the UK Championship after beating Shaun Murphy 10-6 in the final held at the Barbican Centre, York.
In a thrilling match that kept the audience awake past midnight, the player nicknamed The Jester from Leicester preferred a safe game, a strategy that not only helped him be crowned as UK champion, but also regain his world number one spot; lost a few weeks ago to Judd Trump.
It was during this year’s China Open when Selby decided to withdraw from the tournament due to a severe neck injury, hoping that he’d be better in time for the start of the most important event on the snooker calendar – the World Championship. Unfortunately his playing was seriously affected and Selby suffered an early exit right from the first round.
Since then, although he managed to win (and also defend) the Paul Hunter Classic title, he’s been struggling a lot, trying to get back on track.
Luckily for him, the UK Championship was the perfect place to prove that he is fully recovered and ready to put some silverware on his shelf.
The snooker meeting against Shaun Murphy, a player who already has a UK Championship title on his collection from 2008, was a tight and tense affair that left the impression that the two will be going into a deciding frame, more than once.
The first session started with Murphy breaking the ice with two runs of 28 and 27, Selby responding with a 54 to draw level at one apiece, scenery that repeated itself until the end of it, although, at one point, Murphy managed to move two frames ahead at 4-2, by using a top break of 98. Still, the scoreboard was frozen at 4-4 as Selby fired in runs of 70, 39 and 38.
The snooker gladiators re-entered into the arena hours later in order to put an end to the unfinished business, but nothing seemed to be different, as both players failed to be more than one frame apart, until the scoreline stopped at 6-6.
From this point on Selby took off. A break of 51 marked the start of his road to victory, while runs of 98, 44, 25 and 38 sealed a well-deserved and much-awaited-by-the-fans 10-6 win.
An overwhelmed Selby received a big bear hug from his opponent, and good friend, Shaun Murphy, while the audience was on its feet to congratulate the new winner of the UK Championship and re-enthroned world number one.
Before reaching the final Selby beat prodigy Michael White 6-3, Welshman Ryan Day 6-4 (after recovering from a 3-0 deficit), re-enacted a similar comeback in the match he played against Neil Robertson 6-4 (after being led 4-0 down) and ended with a clear 9-4 victory over Mark Davis in the semi-final.