MARK Selby will go into tonight’s session of the UK Championship final with a 5-3 lead over Neil Robertson after dominating the opening proceedings.
But Robertson provided himself with a real confidence boost by taking the final two frames of the session reducing his deficit significantly after trailing the defending champion 5-1.
Selby started the final where he left off in his semi-final win over Ricky Walden as a century break of 130 followed the 129 he made to clinch his place in his second straight UK Championship final.
A break of 63 levelled matters but the Leicester potter, who beat Shaun Murphy in last year’s final, made significant strides to defend his title winning four straight frames either side of the interval to go 5-1 up.
A break of 54 kept Robertson in touch at 5-2 before a superb 123 put him just two frames behind at the halfway stage.
Should Selby win today he will become the first player to successfully defend his UK Championship title since Stephen Hendry claimed back-to-back wins in 1995 and 1996.
The final resumes at 7pm.