Selby fights back to earn Antwerp glory

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

MARK Selby is the new Antwerp Open champion after he came back from behind to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The world number two star, who was runner-up of this event last year, run three straight frames after being 3-1 down to the reigning world champion in the Belgium city.

The win takes Selby to five PTC titles in his career – no player on the tour circuit has won more.

And tonight’s victory will give him a real confidence boost ahead of his bid to defend the UK Championship crown – with the tournament less than ten days away.

But it could have been a different story if O’Sullivan made the most of a golden opportunity in the deciding frame. Leading 36-0 ‘The Rocket’ missed a routine black off its spot – a miss which would prove costly as Selby took full advantage to cross the winning line.

O’Sullivan, who en-route to the final showed some of the form which won him the World Championship in May, took the opening frame with a quick-fire break of 74.

The second frame proved much more of a nervy affair but despite missing frame ball on two occasions, Selby levelled the scores potting a long blue.

A misjudged safety from Selby led to O’Sullivan regaining the lead with a break of 54 and the five-times world champion increased his lead to 3-1 after he came back from 56-31 behind to be on the verge of another ranking title.

The next frame saw Selby keep his hopes alive with runs of 52 and 61 before he forced a deciding frame with a stunning clearance of 126.

And when O’Sullivan made the crucial error of missing a simple black, Selby – with momentum on his side – cleared the table with a clinical break of 77 to clinch the trophy and the cash prize of 25,000 euros.


Categories: PTCs

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