Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

Selby wins World Championship for second time with win over Ding

Mark Selby swept to Crucible glory and gave Leicester a second trophy of the night to toast as he fended off Ding Junhui in the Betfred World Championship final.

Staff Reporter
3 May 2016, 8:47am
Selby holds up Leicester flag to mark double delight
Selby holds up Leicester flag to mark double delight
As parties erupted 70 miles down the M1 following Leicester's Premier League triumph, another was about to begin in Sheffield as Foxes fan Selby powered to an 18-14 triumph.

Selby pointed at smiling wife Vikki in the crowd as he crossed the winning line, joy and satisfaction detailed across his face. She and daughter Sofia joined him amid ticker-tape trophy celebrations.

Selby said: "It's a great, great feeling.

"To win it once was a huge achievement and something I'd always wanted to do but I never dreamt of winning it twice.

"I'm quite emotional. When you look at people who've won it twice, to join that elite group is something special."

Selby outlined how, despite being below his best game for a large part of the tournament, he had managed to achieve his success.

"It's just grit and determination," said the 32-year-old. "I never give in, no matter how badly I'm playing."

He had tried to put football out of his thoughts, but was thrilled to hear Claudio Ranieri's side had completed their mission, thanks to Chelsea's draw with Tottenham.

"I can't believe it. I don't know what's more of a shock - me winning it twice or Leicester being Premier League champions."

And despite feeling plenty of fatigue, he planned to enjoy his win.

"I'm really tired at the moment but I'm sure I'll last the night," he said.

The 6-0 lead Selby established on Sunday was whittled down by determined Ding, who was determined not to squander his big chance - but ultimately he could not overhaul the world number one.

China's first finalist in snooker's premier tournament clawed his way back to 10-9 and 11-10 during Monday afternoon, but going level proved beyond him each time.

Selby led from start to finish and was a worthy champion, collecting snooker's biggest ever prize cheque of £330,000 to go with the silverware.

It was Ronnie O'Sullivan that Selby saw off in 2014, when he staged a terrific second-day fightback to scoop the title. This time Selby was in charge and had to deal with that very different pressure, beginning the day 10-7 in front of a player whose dip in form over the past year meant he had to negotiate the qualifying rounds.

Ding had tens of millions watching him on television in Asia, where he is just as revered as O'Sullivan.

And at times during the contest he rolled back time to when he was the world's number one player, making three century breaks - 103 each time.

Selby took a month off the tour for personal reasons before heading to Sheffield, and at times that absence showed in his game, but come the final he had brushed off the rust.

After Ding's early nibble at his lead on Monday, Selby began to fire. He had breaks of 126, 52, 68 and 55 in pulling 14-11 clear heading into the evening.

It was clear how much it mattered to him too. He swished his cue in anger at one point after missing a testing pink.

And the contest looked to be in its final throes once Selby took the opening two frames on the resumption.

Not so. Runs of 73, 70 and the third 103 of the match revived Ding's prospects.

Early risers for breakfast in China, joining those pulling small-box snooker all-nighters, would have been willing the momentum to drive Ding ever closer.

This great tournament has never had an Asian champion, with Ireland's Ken Doherty, Australia's Neil Robertson and Canadian Cliff Thorburn the only overseas title winners of the 1977-onward Crucible era.

Despite living in the Steel City for the last 10 years, the Crucible is a venue for which Ding has shown little love in the past.

He was longing to have his name engraved on the trophy this time though - but Selby was not going to yield.

He battled through one scrappy frame with an iron will and then clinched victory rather more stylishly with a 74 break.

Ding vowed to learn from the experience after eclipsing his previous best performance of reaching the semi-final in 2011.

The 29-year-old, who had to fight his way through three qualifying rounds to reach the Crucible, has done enough to book his place back in the world's top 16 next season.

Ding said: "Five years ago I was in the semi-final and this year was one step up, so maybe next year I'm going to win it.

"This season I've been working with Terry (Griffiths) and I think I've improved my game a lot. If I keep playing like that I will win more tournaments."

enter to win
DealToday