Mark Selby holds nerve to defend International Championship title

Mark Selby extended his huge lead as the world’s number one after he successfully defended the International Championship with victory over Mark Allen.

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

The world champion beat the Ulsterman 10-7 in Daqing to keep hold of the International Championship which he won twelve months ago.

He also collected another huge pay check for £150,000 to follow up the massive £375,000 he won when he won the World Championship for the third time back in May.

The victory means Selby, according to the official world rankings list, is almost £800,000 above the world number two Ding Junhui due to his dominance in the sport. He is so dominant Selby could do the most unlikely thing ever and have a few months off and still be the world number one by a big margin on his return.

When a big tournament is on Selby comes to the table and he proved that this week as he appeared to be back to his best following a frustrating start to the new season.

Selby now has won 13 ranking events and is in joint sixth position on the list of all-time players by the number of ranking titles won.


Mark Selby’s Route to International Championship Glory

R1 beat Ashley Hugill 5-1

R2 beat Cao Yupeng 6-4

R3 beat Tom Ford 6-4

R4 beat Mark Williams 6-4

Quarter-Final beat Robbie Williams 6-2

Semi-Final beat Martin Gould 9-3

Final beat Mark Allen 10-7


And Selby dominated the opening proceedings against Allen, who was looking to win his fourth major ranking title and his third in China, with a run of 67 in the fist frame.

Allen, playing in his major final since March last year, made the perfect response to ease his nerves with a break of 110. But the world number one took the next two frames to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

Allen won a vital fifth frame to close the deficit to 3-2 only for Selby to then open up a commanding lead by winning three consecutive frames to lead 6-2. However a fantastic break of 137 gave Allen a slimmer of hope at the end of the first session as he made it 6-3.

Mark Allen. Picture by Monique Limbos

But the Jester from Leicester looked liked he was going to stroll to the defence of his title as he quickly turned a 6-3 lead into 8-3 in quick time leaving Allen in deep trouble.

However Allen showed his battling qualities and kept the final well alive winning the next two frames to make it 8-5 at the mid-session interval.

After the restart Selby closed in on glory winning his ninth frame with a run of 90 only for Allen to peg him back once again winning back to back frames to make it 9-7. For once there was tension as Allen’s hopes of pulling off an unlikely win became closer to reality.

But Selby dug deep, like he has shown many times before, to seal a 10-7 win.

 

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One thought on “Mark Selby holds nerve to defend International Championship title

  1. Pingback: Neil Robertson earns last spot in Champion of Champions | The Old Green Baize

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