World Championship: Mark Selby through to final after 17-15 win over Neil Robertson

Last Updated: 04/05/14 8:19am

  • Share:
Mark Selby celebrates his 17-15 semi-final victory over Neil Robertson

Mark Selby celebrates his 17-15 semi-final victory over Neil Robertson

Sky Bet

Mark Selby thrillingly ended his seven-year wait for a second crack at Crucible glory as he set up a showdown with hot favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Dafabet World Championship final following a 17-15 win over Neil Robertson.

The Leicester potter lost to John Higgins in an after-midnight finish in the 2007 Sheffield showpiece and has since endured a frustrating run at snooker's most prestigious tournament, reaching the semi-finals only once.

But while O'Sullivan enjoyed a day off after demolishing Barry Hawkins with an entire session to spare, Selby set about completing the arduous task of finishing off world number one Neil Robertson.

It was a task he achieved with an impressive show of battle-hardened fortitude, fending off the Australian to take revenge for his defeat to the man from Melbourne in December's UK Championship final.

From 9-7 ahead overnight, Selby was pegged back to 12-12 after the day's opening session.

Robertson then edged ahead when they resumed at 7pm, but from 13-12 his night took a turn for the worse as Selby won four of the next five frames, helped by breaks of 79, 77 and 54, to move one away from victory.

A break of 108 - his 10th century of the tournament and 103rd of the season - gave the Cambridge-based Victorian a lifeline, but it proved short-lived as a fluent 74 from Selby in the next frame steered him through to the clash with the man chasing a hat-trick of consecutive world titles, and his sixth triumph from six Crucible finals.

"That's got to be up there with the standard of any semi-final that's ever been played here," Robertson said.

Fantastic standard

"I've played some really good stuff here in the past couple of weeks. Mark's played the best I've seen him play.

"He'll have played better against lower-ranked players when he'll have made bigger breaks. But it was the best I've seen him play, even when he's played Ronnie before. He played some fantastic stuff."

Selby agreed with Robertson's verdict, saying: "Considering the circumstances - and where we are, at the World Championship - it's got to be definitely up there."

On the danger of being weary for the final, Selby added: "I don't feel too bad at the moment. I'm sure I won't sleep because of all the adrenaline but I'm going to go out there in the final and enjoy it.

"Ronnie's a genius and doesn't fear anyone. He's played some great snooker in patches and he's missed a few balls and people haven't punished him. I know I'll get my chances, but it's a matter of whether I take them or not."

Robertson's loss means he relinquishes the top ranking to Ding Junhui, despite the Chinese player's first-round defeat in Sheffield.

The 32-year-old from Melbourne was champion at the Crucible in 2010 and his son Alex, who was born just days after that triumph, was on hand for what Robertson hoped would be another successful night.

This time, however, it was Selby claiming the honours, with Robertson perched solemnly in his seat as the clinching red went down.

  • Share:

Related

2014 World Snooker Championship

Mark Selby: Eyeing more world titles

Selby not resting on laurels

Mark Selby hopes future world titles will prove easier to win than his first after his maiden win at the Crucible.

Mark Selby: Claimed his first-ever world title on Monday night

Selby takes first world crown

Mark Selby produced a stunning comeback to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 and claim his first-ever World Snooker crown.

Mark Selby: Had an afternoon to remember to lead O'Sullivan 12-11

Selby turns tables on Ronnie

Mark Selby dominated Monday's afternoon session in the World Snooker Championship final to lead Ronnie O'Sullivan 12-11.

Most Popular

Features

Ready to relaunch

Ready to relaunch

MIke Wedderburn kicks off the countdown to the Sky Sports News relaunch to Sky Sports News HQ.

Aus Open results

Aus Open results

Latest results from the Goldfields Australian Open in Bendigo, Victoria.

Dominant champions

Dominant champions

AP McCoy has ridden into more racing history, but is he the most dominant champion in sport?