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Mark Selby v John Higgins: World Championship 2017 final - As it happened

Selby v Higgins: World Championship final - As it happened
By Eurosport

01/05/2017 at 22:09Updated 02/05/2017 at 00:28

Frame-by-frame updates as world number one Mark Selby faced John Higgins in the final of the World Championship.

Final score: Selby 18-15 Higgins

Scoring: 76-34 (76), 7-50, 121-8 (62, 58), 0-141 (141), 40-99 (63), 1-126 (95), 54-59 (58), 68-33, 86-0 (86), 8-60, 44-74, 69-22, 1-68, 0-76 (76), 81-9 (81), 121-12 (121), 96-17, 76-1, 53-2, 29-107 (78), 63-40, 68-19 (67), 82-0 (58), 72-0 (72), 72-22, 36-74, 76-1 (71), 134-4 (54, 70), 34-88 (88), 0-119 (111), 47-74, 132-0 (131), 80-19 (75)

Centuries: Four

- - -

Frame 33: It's getting tight out there, but it's Higgins who has a great chance to clear up, plenty of open reds, can he seize the opportunity? He can't... but he still leads the frame 19-5.

Now it's Selby at the table, could this be the moment?

It certainly is! Selby closes it out nervelessly and he's the world champion for the third time!

Frame 32: Huge tactical battle this one. More than 15 minutes on the clock but it's just 1-0 to Selby.

What a response from Selby! It's a century break right after that disappointment on in the previous frame. What a time to make a 131 clearance!

Frame 31: Now it's Selby with a decent chance of a big break. Five reds and five blacks so far. But much like Higgins in the last frame, you don't need the pressure of chasing a 147 when the world title is in sight... But would you believe it, he sinks the blue and snookers himself in behind the yellow... Break of 46 - and he'll be gutted it ended that way.

Big moment as Selby rolls the white in behind the black as he attempts to snooker Higgins, but the referee rules that it didn't hit and a foul is called. Replays suggest it JUST hit, with a commentary team confirming it, but referee Jan Verhaas sticks with his original decision and Higgins now has the chance to reduce Selby's lead.

It's 47-50 in Higgins' favour... Huge, huge frame this! Selby leaves a red on for Higgins in the middle and the Scot seizes on the opportunity. The gap is just one frame now!

Frame 30: We've just edged past the 10-hour mark in this final... How much longer to go?

It's Higgins at the table, five reds and five blacks follow, but this is no time for a risky 147 and he plays it back for the blue. Great chance to take this frame now - and possibly a century.

Ton up! And what a time to do it. A break of 111 puts Higgins right back into this one...

Frame 29: An unfortunate kiss for Higgins allows Selby an opportunity to build a lead and move potentially within one frame of victory, but it's not to be as he can only put 34 points on the board.

Higgins now at the table, but there's a tricky red near the cushion to overcome should he close this frame out... He sinks it but still has a tough final red to navigate at 25 ahead with 36 remaining... It's there! This is more like it from Higgins, who makes it 16-13 with his first half-century in nine frames. Great break of 88.

Frame 28: A safety shot from Higgins sees the white roll into the pocket and Selby has a great chance to build a lead in this frame, if not win it outright. But he doesn't quite manage to see it out with a break of 54, however, it's an uphill battle for Higgins now - he's 55 behind with 75 remaining. Cue a safety exchange...

Selby is looking unstoppable now. The world number one is in full flow as he wins the safety battle and clears the table. He is now just TWO frames away from victory after a break of 70. Mid-session interval now... Selby nearing a hat-trick of world crowns.

Frame 27: Higgins breaks and a red creeps up the table, allowing Selby to cut it into the middle. His attempts to break up the pack are not so successful, but a red at the bottom is pottable. However, Selby's attempt sees it hit the jaws and stay out...

The frame is still Selby's though, who goes within three frames of victory thanks to a break of 71.

Frame 26: Selby moves into a 22-0 lead and it appears as if the reigning champion just can't miss... but a wild shot on the yellow sees Higgins back at the table. Decent chance here for a break, but a kick on the red at 25-22 means it's back for a spell of safety between the duo.

Higgins leaves Selby in a muddle with a snooker and a missed attempt hands the Scot a simple red. It's far from straight-forward to finish however, and his 67 is ended when a plant narrowly misses. Trailing by 45, Selby sinks a red as he looks to steal this one. A very risky red is then missed by Selby and Higgins closes out the frame. Back to 14-12! Huge frame for Higgins to win.

Frame 25: Selby picks up where he left off the last session, and a terrific red hands him a decent opportunity to take the frame, but he can only muster 35 and Higgins is at the table with a great chance of his own. Naturally, each frame is huge, but how much of a difference does 13-12 sound in comparison to 14-11... It's looking good for the Scot too, plenty of open reds as he looks to reduce the deficit to one frame.

Just as we say that, a loose shot ends the break on 22, and a poor safety allows Selby to take a long red as he looks to see out the frame. And Selby does take his chance this time! The Jester moves into a three-frame lead...

Frame 24: How about that... Selby now leads by two frames and that's the end of the session. The reigning champion is showing incredible mental strength while Higgins' appears to be fading, as do his hopes of a fifth world title as each frame passes by. A chance for a century in that final frame for Selby but a break of 72 is enough to take a two-frame lead going into tonight's final session. Make sure you tune into Eurosport 1 for the conclusion!

Frame 23: Selby leads! Incredible stuff. He gets two bites at the cherry and a very open table allows Selby to take full advantage at the second time of asking - his break of 58 is enough to win the frame 82-0. He has now won EIGHT of the last NINE frames. One more to go in yet another gripping session of snooker...

Frame 22: Higgins gets 19 points on the board but it's another lengthy safety exchange which follows. It's Selby who then looks to build a decent break - and a 67 puts him 48 ahead with 43 remaining. Higgins gets up to carry on the frame, but he must force Selby into a couple of errors... And what a shot that is from Selby, brilliant long red and it's now level pegging! From 10-4 down, it's 11-11. Sensational comeback from the reigning champ.

Frame 21: Selby moves into a 33-0 lead but he cannot keep the break going and is forced into a safety battle with Higgins which lasts almost 10 minutes. Selby then misses a red into the corner which was a difficult cut, allowing Higgins to reduce the deficit. Yet more safety follows with Higgins leading 33-40 and the frame edges over the half-hour mark… And the frame is Selby's! Following numerous safety exchanges Selby sinks the yellow and wins his third frame of the day as they walk back to the changing room for the mid-session interval. 44-minute slog that one. Can see this one going beyond midnight...

Frame 20: Selby misses a simple red into the middle (see below) and Higgins capitalises with a brilliant long red which offers the Scot an opportunity to build a break. However, he can only muster a score of 29 and what follows is a truly bizarre five minutes which has both players and the whole crowd smiling. Selby snookers Higgins, who then attempts to come off two cushions before flicking a loose red. Instead, THREE times in a row Higgins misses it before the white goes into the middle pocket off the brown. Each shot a carbon copy of the one before, leading to laughs around the auditorium and from both players, followed by cheers when it's fourth time lucky for Higgins. Now a chance for Selby to build a lead but he can only level at 29-29 before a simple black hands Higgins a chance to win the frame - and he does so with a break of XX to stop the rot, ending Selby's run of five without reply.

Frame 19: Higgins breaks the impasse of a long safety exchange from the off by nailing a long red but he messes up when missing the black. It brings Selby to the table for a 13, as he opens up the reds with a stunning shot off the blue and round the table into the pack. Higgins still can't find his rhythm and Selby takes control with a break of 40. That's five in a row for the Jester now.

Frame 18: After a couple of misses early in the frame, perhaps betraying some Crucible nerves on bank holiday Monday, Selby is first in amongst the reds with a break of 31. A missed long red from Higgins puts Selby back in for another 14 and two fouls from Higgins - a potted white and a shot which clipped the brown - allow Selby to make fairly light work of it, pulling back to within two frames.

Frame 17: Oh he's back isn't it he? Selby is looking better and better as he comes back to secure his third frame in a row. It means that he has won the evening session and only trails 10-7. This is a massive performance from Selby and although he trails that will feel like a victory in some ways and you can see it in his face as he clenches his fast as he walks off. Higgins is a frustrated figure, he needs to regroup ahead of tomorrow.

Frame 16: Higgins gets started with another long red but not for the first time he can't quite gets a run together and it's safety time. Selby gets a red and despite an unfavourable kiss he still pots the blue. All of a sudden that spring is back in his step. And there's his first century of the final as he knocks in a 121. Can he get it back to 10-7 going into tomorrow?

Frame 15: Mark Selby doesn't get rattled, it's a not word or feeling he understands. But right now he is getting close to it as he misses some easy pots and gets unlucky with some running. However perhaps his luck is about to turn as Higgins misses a pink and in the process opens the pack. From there Selby cleans up and he ends with a break of 81. Selby isn't rattled, he might be launching a comeback.

Frame 14: Higgins comes to the table and looks in good form as he starts to rack up the points. There's a moment of amusement as someone in the audience is told off for eating some crisps. Moments later Higgins opens the pack with the most astonishing of shots but it seems to work for him. He gets a break of 76 to move six clear.

Video - Did he mean it? - Higgins produces incredible plant


Frame 13: Higgins starts the 13th with a long red but Selby gets on the board as well. However then Higgins knocks in 40 points before extending that lead even further. Selby stays in his seat and we go back to 9-4. This means that Higgins will have a lead overnight, the question now is how big will that lead be?

Frame 12: Oh how Selby needed that one. This frame swings back and forth as first Selby breaks to 26 but misses a red that Higgins pots. However just when it seems as if Higgins is taking control he misses the pink and Selby is back in the balls. Despite not being able to see out the frame in one go Selby gets back to make sure the gap is four rather than six going into the interval.

Frame 11: Higgins break off with 27 but he can't find another red and has to play a safety. Another battle ensues before Higgins can't leave the cue ball behind the blue which opens things up for Selby, who gets a break of 43 before he fails to open the cluster of reds on the side cushion. Higgins gets to one point behind but he too has to play another safety. Selby takes a long red but he under-hits it when trying to place the white behind the green and fouls. Off the free ball Selby hits the red but Higgins sinks it afterwards and cleaned up very well.

Frame 10: It's a poor break from Selby and Higgins capitalises with a fine cut into the corner. A short break is followed by a bit of luck for Higgins as Selby's safety caught the green and left a red on. Higgins kept up his fine form from distance sinking the red but elects to take the safety on instead. The pair trade safety's for a while before they both missed tricky, but gettable reds. A mistake from Selby when trying to hide the cue ball allows Higgins to extend his lead but an ambitious double didn't come off. A tense fight from Selby to stay in the frame ends when he accidentally pots the white when needing snookers.

Frame 9: Huge frame for Selby in the first one after the interval. A period of over 11 minutes without a pot ends as Higgins makes a mistake and leads Selby a red to the right middle. He pots and from then onwards is magnificent as he sinks a series of impressive pots. That will do his confidence a world of good and send a bit of a reminder to Higgins. His positional play with the white to move the reds off cushions in particular was very good.

Frame 8: That's massive for Higgins. A break of 49 sees Higgins build a lead of 61-23 but he misses a crucial red that would have sealed the frame. The pair then decide to do battle in a safety battle of epic proportions as Selby fights his way back into the frame. The defending champion seeks a truly sensational red but it isn't enough for him and eventually Higgins can clean up and extend his lead.

Frame 7: How on earth has Selby not win this frame? Both players produce bad misses before Selby builds up a good lead. He's 52-1 ahead when he misses a red. Higgins comes back to the table and manages to get a break of 58, his fourth half-century in a row, and he's now pushed up to three ahead. His other frames were down to his brilliance but Selby has to be kicking himself that he hasn't closed the gap to one. Higgins will now definitely lead going into the evening session.

Frame 6: It takes a while to get going in the sixth frame as the pair do battle in an early safety battle, during which Selby made an early mistake in missing a red as he tried to get the faintest of touches on it. Eventually Higgins was able to get in amongst the balls and he notches his third successive half-century break with this one ending on 95.

Frame 5: Higgins looks to have control of the frame following a break of 63 but he lets Selby back in when he misses a red. With the reds on the side cushion Selby was in a tricky position and he was unable to take advantage. Higgins cleaned up and then after snookering Selby on the final red cleared up the remainder of the ball to take the lead for the first time.

Frame 4: Higgins is in complete control during this frame as he notches the first century of the match. Things kicked off with a sensational long red and from there he didn't let up at all. Having seen some mistakes from both players so far this was the first sign that a real classic might be emerging. Higgins knows that he can't let Selby get away from him, and if he keeps making breaks like that he should have no problems.

Video - Higgins produces magnificent 141 break


Frame 3: There was an interesting moment just before the start of the frame where Higgins and Selby seemed to be deep in conversation about something. Maybe they aren’t happy with the table, as there’s mistakes apiece at the start of the third. Selby mounts a break of 62, though, before missing frame ball. Higgins responds immediately with a sloppy miss on a red. We are seeing the human side of these two greats at the moment – the Crucible does funny things to people… A missed double from Selby puts Higgins back in, and when the Scot fails to clear up, another double goes down this time for Selby, who rattles in a 58 to take the frame.

Video - Selby follows crazy fluke with brilliant double


Frame 2: Again it’s Higgins who fires the first salvo but he gets a big kick on the black and is limited to a break of five, with the reds pretty tightly packed in the centre. Selby can’t punish him as a thin cut leaves a red over the pocket and Higgins returns with a break of 37. Selby has an awkward shot at 42-1 down but after getting his attempted safety all wrong, he benefits from a huge fluke as the white touches a red into the centre pocket. Both men exchange misses as Selby struggles to seven in a scrappy frame, but Higgins takes it as Selby gives him the nod.

Video - Selby enjoys amazing fluke in final against Higgins


Frame 1: Higgins takes on a tricky red and pots it for the first point on the board and his first visit to the table gives him a break of 34. Selby took the chance afforded to him as he responded with 76 before seeing the brown rattle the jaws of the pocket. A confident start from the number one.

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The World Championship final is best of 35 frames - first to 18. Sunday's evening session starts at 7pm, with the Monday sessions coming at 2pm and 7pm.

Final Q&A: O'Sullivan - Why Selby is such a hard opponent