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Mark Williams hits back to dump world champion Mark Selby in Masters thriller

Williams hits back to beat Selby in Masters thriller
By Eurosport

14/01/2018 at 17:12Updated 14/01/2018 at 23:42

Mark Williams staged a rousing recovery to complete a 6-5 win over world champion Mark Selby in the first round of the Masters by winning the last three frames of an epic opener at Alexandra Palace.

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In a reverse of the outcome a year ago that three-times Masters champion Selby won 6-5 in the first round at the London venue, Williams - winner in 1998 and 2003 - recovered from trailing 5-3 to oust Selby, who missed the final red in the 11th frame along the bottom cushion that would have given him certain victory.

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Video - World champion Selby misses key red to crash out of Masters

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Williams kept his cool to clear to the pink to the delight of a packed 2,000 crowd at the sport's biggest invitational event. He will face Barry Hawkins or Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals on Friday.

"I thought it was a good match. Both of us played quite well. I never gave in. I'm over the moon," said Williams.

"I'm playing a hell of a lot better than I have done for many years. If I can keep playing like that then someone's going to have to play well (to beat me)."

Video - Williams opens Masters campaign with 135 break

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Selby won the International Championship in November, but has suffered an indifferent run of results by his pristine standards after losing 6-3 to Scott Donaldson in the second round of the UK Championship last month.

Williams - winner of the recent Northern Ireland Open in Belfast - claimed the opening two frames with breaks of 135 and 89 only for Selby to restore parity at the mid-session interval boosted by a knock of 70 in the third frame.

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01:56

World number one Selby moved 3-2 to the good with another 70 only for Williams to draw level at 3-3 with a lovely break of 81.

Selby seemed the likelier winner as Williams could muster only 11 points in the next two frames as a 76 break helped Selby moved two up with a possible three to play.

He appeared on the cusp of victory in the ninth frame, but missed the penultimate red as Williams seized the chance to close to 5-4 behind.

Mark Selby crashed out of the Masters

Mark Selby crashed out of the MastersPA Sport

A break of 58 from Williams forced the deciding frame and despite missing a red when he was 39-0 clear in the final frame, he was not punished as Selby saw the final red stay over the hole knowing he was through if it had dropped holding a six-point lead.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Mark Allen beat Luca Brecel 6-3.

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