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Selby crowned world champion

2014-05-06 08:15
Top of the world: Mark Selby raises aloft the Worl
Top of the world: Mark Selby raises aloft the World Championship trophy after victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan Photo: ACTION IMAGES

Sheffield - Mark Selby beat two-time defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 in the World Championship final at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on Monday.

Victory in the all-English clash saw Selby, who was 10-5 down, win his first world title after losing in the 2007 final.

For O'Sullivan, a five-time world champion in all, this was his first defeat in snooker's showpiece match.

Selby sealed victory in an often gruelling contest by holding his nerve to clear all the colours in the 32nd frame.

"It was amazing. It could not be better," Selby told the BBC.

"There's no better way than beating Ronnie in the final. I dug in, I did not play pretty snooker early on but as it wore on I thought I did well.

"It was a tough day yesterday (Sunday) and the last two games were huge. To get back into 10-7 gave me a chance.

"It's not really sunk in but my father passed away when I was 16 and I always said I wanted to win the world title for him."

Meanwhile a sporting O'Sullivan said: "I want to congratulate Mark on a fantastic tournament he's been the best player over 17 days, that was tough he had me in all sorts of trouble. In the end I was numb as he was too strong and tough.

"The miss on the pink was big, but the black at 10-5 was more important. The match was more about safety so it was not about one missed ball. I have no complaints.

"I've never been in such a good place, I've enjoyed these last 17 days. Maybe I would have thrown in the towel a few years ago but I tried my hardest."

This success for Selby, now the new world number one, saw him avoid an unwanted hat-trick of defeats in the finals of snooker's three major tournaments this season, having lost to Australia's Neil Robertson - the man he defeated in his Crucible semi-final - in the climax of the UK Championship and going down 10-4 to O'Sullivan at the culmination of the Masters.

Selby is renowned as one of the grittiest players on the professional circuit and showed his match-toughness as he came from 8-3 and then 10-5 down on Sunday.

Trailing 10-7 overnight, he won Monday's first three frames and squared the match at 10-10 with a break of 74.

O'Sullivan was well short of the form that sees him routinely described as the most naturally talented player top-class snooker has known.

'The Rocket' missed what would have been a frame-winning pink to the middle pocket, his power pot rattling the jaws before bouncing out and Selby, showing plenty of composure, made the most of his chance to go 12-11 ahead leading into the concluding session.

The interval gave O'Sullivan the chance to consult with sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, whom he credits for revitalising his career, but it was Selby who proved the stronger come the finish.

Read more on:    snooker
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