Mark Selby has secured a thrilling victory over Mark Allen in a late-night showdown, booking his place in the World Championship final for the sixth time. Selby entered the final session with a slim 11-10 lead, but he soon pulled away with a series of impressive half-centuries and a superb 103 to clinch five consecutive frames. Although Allen mounted an extraordinary comeback, claiming the next five frames to draw level at 16-15, Selby ultimately emerged victorious by securing a crucial win in the 32nd frame.
Selby, who has won 22 ranking titles and nine Triple Crowns, is striving to clinch his fifth Crucible crown. Commenting on his rival for the upcoming final, Selby mentioned, “Luca is a formidable player. He possesses exceptional talent, and it is fantastic to see him doing well. I am aware of his prowess for a while now.”
Selby was not worried about the late finish and said that winning the championship after the next two days would be his greatest victory yet, surpassing his first victory against Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The night proved to be a missed chance for Allen, who was hoping to achieve a career Triple Crown. Despite winning the Masters in 2018 and the UK Championship earlier this season, Allen couldn’t find any momentum when play resumed in the evening after showing resilience to stay close to Selby at 9-6 and 10-7 in the morning session.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Allen said “I didn’t perform well in that match, but I did create opportunities for myself,” Allen explained to BBC Sport. “I managed to put Mark Selby under some pressure, and I can draw some positives from that. Even though I feel like I underperformed, I am disappointed right now, but overall, this season has been great for me with my highest ranking ever and playing on the one-table set-up here. I am still hopeful for the next season.”
The final promises to be an exciting encounter, with both Selby and Brecel in good form. Selby will be the favorite, but Brecel has shown throughout the tournament that he is more than capable of producing a shocking result.