Betfair Masters: Mark Selby claims title with 10-6 win over defending champion Neil Robertson
Last Updated: 21/01/13 9:19am
Mark Selby: Held off challenge from Neil Robertson to secure his third Masters title
Mark Selby won his third Betfair Masters title with a 10-6 victory over defending champion Neil Robertson at Alexandra Palace in London.
Selby, the winner in 2008 and 2010 and last month's UK Championship victor, was made to work for his £175,000 first prize in the best-of-19 final after Australian top seed Robertson responded from 8-3 down by claiming three successive frames.
Selby, though, was able to hold off the fightback and see out victory to join five others who had won the tournament three times or more.
The 'Jester from Leicester' joined Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry, Paul Hunter, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan, whose presence on semi-final day ignited whispers of him launching a world title defence later this year.
After his £125,000 win in York in December, the 29-year-old Selby is the first to win back-to-back majors since Mark Williams 10 years ago.
Selby took the opening frame before a break of 73 earned him a 2-0 advantage over the Australian, who beat Shaun Murphy 6-2 in his semi-final.
Selby pounced on a missed red from Robertson with a first century break of the final, 102, to take a 3-0 advantage. It was the 30-year-old's first tournament ton.
A break of 78 followed for Cambridge-based Robertson, as he wrested back some of the initiative before the mid-session interval.
Selby restored his three-frame lead with a break of 84 and then pinched a scrappy sixth to move 5-1 to the good but Robertson battled back, breaks of 63 and 72 reducing the deficit to 5-3 at the end of the afternoon session.
Selby began the evening session in positive fashion, a run of 67 seeing him claim the first frame after the restart.
He then took a scrappy 10th frame and punished a poor safety from Robertson to take the 11th with a break of 32 to edge ahead to 8-3.
His Australian opponent again reduced the arrears before the mid-session interval though courtesy of a break of 74.
Robertson still had to win six of the remaining seven frames to successfully defend his title and a missed red into the centre from Selby saw him return to the table in the 13th frame.
Robertson made the most of the opportunity to record a break of 83 - his highest of the match - to move within three frames of Selby and he also claimed the next with a long brown and the blue after Selby had missed an angled red into the bottom pocket.
Selby brilliantly potted the final red from long distance before claiming the 15th frame, with Robertson unable to find the required snookers to prevent his opponent from moving to within one frame of success.
Selby held his nerve and with Robertson again needing snookers, he polished off the colours to claim victory after a 42-minute final frame.