Betfred World Championship Final: Higgins Leads Selby 10-7 Overnight

John HigginsA DOMINANT display in the opening session helped John Higgins to a 10-7 overnight lead against Mark Selby in the final of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

Defending champion Selby, 33, made a positive start to his quest for a third world title as a break of 76 helped him take the opening frame,  but Higgins, chasing his fifth Crucible crown, took the next to level at one a piece.

Breaks of 62 and 58 helped Selby take the third frame, but that was to be the high point of his afternoon as Higgins made runs of 141 (just two points shy of his highest ever Crucible break), 63, 95 and 58 before adding the last frame of the afternoon to lead 6-2.

Higgins, who at 41 is the oldest finalist since 49-year-old Ray Reardon lost to Alex Higgins in 1982, generously praised his opponent before the start of the final and described him as a ‘big favourite’ for the title: “He could be the one right now who could challenge Hendry’s seven titles,” Higgins said.

“If he goes ahead and beats me, it’d be his third and he’s still a young man.

“But he’s not like Hendry as a player – Hendry couldn’t win the tough frames, he’d blow you away. Mark’s more like Steve Davis.”

Records show that no player has come back to win from a first session deficit as wide as 6-2 since Dennis Taylor recovered from 8-0 behind to beat Steve Davis on the final black in 1985, but Selby made a strong start to the evening session as a break of 86 helped him reduce his arrears to 6-3.

Higgins’s break building was not of the same standard as in the afternoon session, but he did enough to take three of the next four frames, before a break of 76 saw him extend his lead to 10-4.

Selby, needing to end the session well to stand a realistic chance of victory, responded with breaks of 81 and 121 before adding the final frame of the evening to cut his overnight deficit to 10-7.

Ten years ago, Selby came through the qualifiers and became a surprise finalist where he faced Higgins. On that occasion, at the end of the first day’s play, Selby trailed 12-5, before fighting back in the third session to make it 12-10, but Higgins regained his composure and went on to win 18-13.

 

Century breaks so far: 68 (tournament best 86)

Highest break: 146 Ronnie O’Sullivan (quarter-final, frame 20)

Final (best of 35 frames)

All times BST

Sunday 30 April

14:00 & 19:00

Match score: Mark Selby (Eng) 7-10 John Higgins (Sco)

First session: 76-34 (76), 7-50, 121-8 (62, 58), 0-141 (141), 40-99 (63), 1-126 (95), 54-59 (58), 33-68 6-2 Higgins

Second session: 86-0 (86), 8-60, 44-74, 69-22, 1-68, 0-76 (76), 81-9 (81), 121-12 (121), 96-17 10-7 Higgins

Highest breaks so far: Higgins 141; Selby 121

Monday 1 May

14:00 & 19:00

Mark Selby (Eng) v John Higgins (Sco)

Results

Semi-finals (best of 33 frames)

Mark Selby (Eng) 17-15 Ding Junhui (Chn)

First session: 45-76 (76), 77-22 (68), 24-84 (84), 99-0 (99), 73-34, 53-87 (52), 1-119 (56, 50), 0-116 (110) 5-3 Ding

Second session: 105-23 (100), 61-49, 62-26, 81-0 (67), 0-94 (84), 96-9 (85), 0-139 (139), 66-27 9-7 Selby

Third session: 128-8 (128), 6-95 (95), 6-80, 64-25 (64), 14-86, 66-61, 1-117 (117), 1-135 (128) 12-12

Fourth session: 113-2 (74), 96-1 (96), 0-61 (52), 75-43, 75-47, 1-66, 14-73 (73), 84-9 (72) 17-15 Selby

John Higgins (Sco) 17-8 Barry Hawkins (Eng)

First session: 93-28 (63), 69-22, 67-19 (59), 75-59 (Higgins 69, Hawkins 59), 30-100 (62), 30-95 (71), 65-25, 39-74 (74) 5-3 Higgins

Second session: 40-65, 92-6, 73-16 (51), 0-125 (115), 61-24 (53), 18-91, 89-0 (89), 73-45, 10-6 Higgins

Third session: 8-76 (69), 70-41, 56-47, 70-13, 65-62, 70-0, , 96-4 (90), 48-80 (58) 16-8 Higgins

Fourth session: 128-12 (120) 17-8 Higgins

Quarter-finals (best of 25 frames)

Barry Hawkins (Eng) 13-9 Stephen Maguire (Sco)

25-82 (81), 88-40, 65-41, 98-4 (98), 71-43, 79-27, 57-68, 21-66, 116-0 (86), 40-81 (53), 7-69, 18-59 (57), 93-4, 46-56, 83-37, 0-135 (135), 11-65, 126-0 (126), 81-35, 69-29, 77-0 (77)

Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) 10-13 Ding Junhui (Chn)

0-79 (71), 12-128 (128), 7-77 (71), 79-11 (63), 99-0 (99), 102-16 (65), 69-76 (O’Sullivan 69) *respotted black, 19-107 (59), 40-87 (63), 84-42 (84), 31-64 (64), 56-82 (65), 0-120 (120), 35-68 (59), 0-87 (56), 104-0 (104), 68-43, 97-0 (97), 0-96 (69), 146-0 (146), 5-91 (87), 73-63, 0-133 (117)

Mark Selby (Eng) 13-3 Marco Fu (Hk)

71-0, 84-36, 82-0 (82), 97-0 (70), 94-0 (94), 17-77, 41-77 (60), 75-42, 78-0 (78), 76-34, 65-32 (52), 132-0 (132), 139-0 (139), 57-70 (Selby 57, Fu 56), 143-0 (143), 69-28 (65)

Kyren Wilson (Eng) 6-13 John Higgins (Sco)

1-72, 5-94 (60), 67-31, 92-0 (92), 36-53, 62-15 (61), 17-63 (62), 9-67 (59), 0-129 (129), 67-45, 86-42, 0-74 (74), 0-135 (135), 97-0 (97), 45-71, 4-71, 28-84 (61), 62-27, 37-74 (59)

Second Round (best of 25 frames)

Neil Robertson (Aus) 11-13 Marco Fu (HK)

105-1 (105), 6-66, 86-0 (62), 78-31 (62), 90-30 (90), 1-119 (118), 14-98 (60), 47-59, 68-46, 8-121 (109), 92-6 (91), 33-94 (64), 0-73 (72), 92-0, 70-4 (58), 2-102 (56), 77-32, 73-32, 7-78 (78), 0-119 (115), 76-70, 8-70, 15-69 (69), 60-64

Graeme Dott (Sco) 6-13 Barry Hawkins (Eng)

73-16, 60-69, 15-64, 51-63 (Dott 51, Hawkins 50), 13-81, 79-43 (64), 8-72 (54), 0-92 (91), 6-91, 69-24, 57-70 (Dott 57, Hawkins 70), 28-59, 66-1 (65), 59-41 (59), 109-8 (105), 62-50, 14-68, 0-98 (98), 30-77

Mark Selby (Eng) 13-6 Xiao Guodong (Chn)

75-19 (67), 88-29 (58), 25-93, 80-5, 70-17 (51), 80-40 (76), 8-89 (89), 72-49, 0-89 (89), 62-28 (62), 0-131 (131), 68-54 (Selby 68, Guodong 54), 70-39 (57), 71-35, 51-67 (Selby 51), 16-62, 87-29 (73), 98-1 (60)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) 13-3 Rory McLeod (Eng)

72-43, 94-31 (67), 56-14, 72-43, 85-6 (71), 0-73 (73), 45-63, 72-23 (63), 118-21 (114), 87-48, 43-89, 68-20 (61), 106-16 (90), 71-60 (McLeod 60), 87-28 (57), 66-52

John Higgins (Sco) 13-9 Mark Allen (NI)

0-135 (71, 65), 0-100 (100), 68-14, 90-42 (70), 24-106 (102), 0-129 (129), 0-82 (82), 72-40 (54), 84-0 (84), 64-20, 124-0 (124), 55-1, 0-122 (116), 72-70 (Higgins 72, Allen 70), 17-65, 76-26, 5-76 (76), 64-58 (Higgins 63, Allen 58), 124-7 (120), 5-93 (54), 69-0, 89-0

Ding Junhui (Chn) 13-12 Liang Wenbo (Chn)

133-0 (111), 67-57 (Wenbo 57), 16-68 (62), 113-0 (113), 99-1 (53), 36-62, 92-0 (62), 70-12 (70), 0-84 (84), 5-83 (75), 95-29 (91), 0-130 (130), 69-51 (Wenbo 51), 0-79 (79), 94-0 (94), 31-75, 23-110 (58), 0-98 (98), 59-86 (61), 72-43, 80-0 (80), 32-95 (50), 138-0 (132), 74-16 (70)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 7-13 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng)

1-110 (91), 130-0 (84), 5-75 (75), 7-128 (128), 21-77 (76), 16-84, 64-63, 0-78 (74), 91-0 (70), 0-80 (63), 0-79 (75), 44-89, 96-1 (84), 80-8 (73), 88-5 (87), 58-68, 32-105 (67), 75-52 (Murphy 55, O’Sullivan 52), 22-111 (111), 17-101 (55)

Stuart Bingham (Eng) 10-13 Kyren Wilson (Eng)

42-66, 11-89 (71), 38-62, 42-55, 6-70 (70), 76-39 (52), 92-0 (56), 53-18, 65-11 (64), 0-110 (110), 88-0 (84), 58-59, 70-9 (57), 30-61 (56), 86-24, 62-65 (56), 1-63 (63), 137-0 (137), 59-26, 1-68 (59), 0-88 (88), 80-0 (80), 15-65

First Round (best of 19 frames)

Barry Hawkins (Eng) 10-3 Tom Ford (Eng)

67-61, 44-95 (50), 0-95 (91), 65-26 (65), 80-34 (52), 132-8 (132), 73-47 (55), 66-6, 5-72 (50), 80-0, 68-67, 64-22

Neil Robertson (Aus) 10-4 Noppon Saengkham (Tha)

83-12 (76), 83-6 (77), 90-0 (61), 68-48, 8-77, 113-0 (113), 65-60, 59-25, 62-26, 30-68, 65-15 (54), 74-1 (70), 22-77, 76-0 (76)

Judd Trump (Eng) 8-10 Rory McLeod (Eng)

96-5 (55), 64-14 (54), 58-51, 73-12, 17-80 (72), 49-64, 36-67, 0-72, 0-87 (77), 86-31, 43-64, 83-29 (65), 2-54, 44-57, 61-41, 16-80 (66), 64-33, 0-63

Ryan Day (Wal) 4-10 Xiao Guodong (Chn)

45-81 (62), 51-63, 66-70, 36-76, 61-44, 125-0 (125), 73-0 (72), 36-68, 62-65, 8-83 (67), 0-78 (78), 9-98, 98-0 (98), 0-79

Allister Carter (Eng) 7-10 Graeme Dott (Sco)

53-70, 55-81, 0-75, 52-67, 71-7 (53), 73-6, 38-82 (50), 76-0 (76), 1-71, 0-111 (111), 81-7 (74), 59-42, 18-66, 104-19 (104), 88-0 (88), 22-52, 43-81

Mark Selby (Eng) 10-2 Fergal O’Brien (Ire)

75-20, 91-2 (50), 82-14, 70-33 (63), 77-0 (77), 79-41, 83-0 (56), 95-5, 19-66, 92-4 (92), 57-73, 54-50

Anthony McGill (Sco) 2-10 Stephen Maguire (Sco)

12-116 (66, 50), 64-6 (58), 47- 61, 81-28 (55), 0-97 (97), 0-72 (60), 0-88 (50), 0-78, 0-79 (59), 1-60, 0-73 (57), 52-77 (58)

Kyren Wilson (Eng) 10-6 David Grace (Eng)

62-51, 90-18 (58), 56-70, 76-0 (72), 0-75 (75), 49-41, 71-24, 0-70 (56), 26-74, 58-42, 43-75 (52), 101-16, 0-131 (104), 93-26 (93), 70-9, 70-23

Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) 10-7 Gary Wilson (Eng)

74-41 (57), 64-0 (58), 125-0 (58, 63), 0-91 (54), 122-0 (122) 65-58 *respotted black, 44-70 (64), 0-99 (63), 69-78 (O’Sullivan 63), 93-59 (Wilson 50), 0-100 (100), 124-0 (124), 99-46 (74), 124-0 (83), 1-75, 4-103 (103), 90-1 (90)

Stuart Bingham (Eng) 10-5 Peter Ebdon (Eng)

97-15 (91), 77-70, 80-1 (80), 1-86, 29-66, 99-6 (74), 122-0 (122), 0-97, 74-81 (66) *respotted black, 62-61 (Bingham 62, Ebdon 55), 57-21, 73-27, 30-68, 77-74, 69-65 (Ebdon 65)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) 10-8 Yan Bingtao (Chn)

85-11 (52), 22-109 (109), 89-23 (54), 128-6 (112), 119-6 (118), 41-66, 46-85 (67), 75-40, 81-0 (81), 62-28, 4-96 (56), 59-63, 109-16 (109), 54-70, 0-94 (94), 0-108 (70), 0-72, 67-65

Marco Fu (HK) 10-9 Luca Brecel (Bel)

7-86 (55), 0-109 (109), 24-61, 5-78, 8-94 (94), 69-30, 10-78 (62), 0-76 (76), 105-0 (105), 83-29 (75), 83-17 (83), 7-64 (56), 88-8, 66-9, 81-22, 61-53, 17-99 (78), 13-85 (85), 104-1 (56)

Mark Allen (NI) 10-8 Jimmy Robertson (Eng)

30-82 (60), 37-100 (86), 69-55 (Allen 63, Robertson 55), 8-96 (61), 105-0 (105), 1-86 (78), 68-39, 62-50, 100-0 (100), 20-66, 16-102 (62), 74-51, 29-124 (66, 54), 76-7 (60), 70-56, 61-53, 63-18, 97-0 (97)

John Higgins (Sco) 10-6 Martin Gould (Eng)

77-27 (55), 82-40 (50), 66-47 (65), 84-28 (76), 96-19, 57-59 (Higgins 57), 90-0 (90), 11-100 (100), 79-10 (53), 6-109 (108), 8-76, 127-1 (127), 0-86 (86), 76-1 (67), 0-80 (80), 82-34 (82)

Ding Junhui (Chn) 10-5 Zhou Yuelong (Chn)

121-0 (60, 57), 93-0 (54), 73-16, 136-0 (136), 0-76, 78-8 (78), 0-127 (81), 103-0 (103), 132-0 (132), 17-78 (60), 0-93 (93), 67-1 (67), 43-70, 72-24, 76-43 (68)

Liang Wenbo (Chn) 10-7 Stuart Carrington (Eng)

71-0 (70), 48-47, 16-57 (55), 7-82 (63), 26-124 (124), 0-101 (101), 20-107 (107), 63-25, 81-0 (79), 75-53, 79-0 (60), 57-68 (50), 71-37 (71), 5-65, 64-21, 74-24, 76-43 (68)