Mark Selby, the four-time world champion, successfully overcame Ryan Day’s impressive mid-game fightback to reach the semi-finals of the Duelbits Tour Championship in Hull.
Despite his eventual defeat, Ryan Day played exceptionally well, even producing a crowd-pleasing 147 break after a rare 16-red ball clearance. However, Selby maintained his cool to hold on to his lead and win the match 10-7.
Selby played a careful and patient game throughout, starting the final session with a solid 6-2 lead. Mark ‘the Shark’ Selby then extended his lead to a seemingly insurmountable 8-2 but Day somehow managed to reduce the deficit first to 8-5 and then to 9-7.
But in the end, Selby sealed the victory in the 17th frame, winning by 10-7, and advancing to the semi-finals where he will face Shaun Murphy.
Even so, the quarter-final turned out to be a tough match for Selby as Day started to find his form and exert consistent pressure through confident break-building and well-thought-out strategic plays. Selby appeared to be in total control of the match until Day’s mind-blowing 147 clearance which he followed up with another massive break of 139 to reduce the deficit to 9-6. Another modest break of 60 put Day within just two frames of Selby, but he missed a vital long red shot in the 17th frame which gave Selby a match-winning chance to put a 77 break on the scoreboard and seal his victory, 10-7.
After a great season, Selby is hoping to reclaim his world number one ranking from Ronnie O’Sullivan by winning the title of the Tour Championship in Hull. Selby noted his satisfaction with his performance so far, saying after the game that “I felt good out there and every time I had a chance I felt I was going to score and win the frame.”
The first semi-final of the Tour Championship will be fought out between Kyren Wilson from England and Ding Junhui from China. The final of the Tour Championship is set to take place on Sunday at the Bonus Arena in Hull. The eight participants in the Tour Championship were determined by the points won in ranking tournaments during this season’s events prior to the competition.
The winner of the prestigious Duelbits Tour Championship will receive a huge first prize of £150,000 out of a total prize fund of £380,000. Of course, for Mark Selby, the prospect of gaining the number one ranking is just as important as the prize money. Stay tuned to find out how this nail-biting tournament will shape up over the weekend and discover whether or not Selby will clinch his legacy as a 5-time world champion.