World Snooker Championship final as live - Mark Selby beats Shaun Murphy to win fourth world title
Mark Selby is now a four-time world champion after beating Shaun Murphy in the 2021 World Snooker Championship final. Selby won the final 18-15 in front of a sold-out crowd to move level with John Higgins on four titles. Only Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan have won on more occasions at the Crucible.
'Horrible shot' - Selby gets in all kinds of trouble with rest
Mark Selby holds aloft the trophy as the confetti rains down from the Crucible roof. He's won four of the last eight world titles now, his first three of which were bagged in the space of four years. That is exceptional by the standards of any individual sport, and particularly given the margins at the very top level of snooker. What a player. Speaking of outstanding, a quick word on the crowd for this final; the atmosphere was absolutely electric. It always is at the Crucible, but the last 48 hours have felt a little different; they were fans who not only wanted to be there, but needed to be there. For themselves, and for us too. What a joyous occasion.
He's had a time of it too. 'A few years ago I had some really, really dark days,' he says, 'and times were tough.' Selby thanks his family for their support, and almost chokes up as he does so. He's back, and he's glad to see Shaun back too; after a bit of acrimony in the aftermath of the semi-finals, the warmth in the sportsmanship between these two longstanding friends tonight is genuinely touching.
He's admirably chipper in defeat, Shaun, paying tribute to his opponent and their battle over the last 48 hours. It's a tough one to take, but Murphy made that a great final. He's had a difficult year, particularly now that he's based in Ireland and the disruptions that causes with coronavirus. He's been notably, welcomingly candid about all of that. To sign off, he thanks the Crucible crowd - for their support, and for their presence here helping to lift him out of a tough place. Chapeau.
Mark Selby is the world champion
What a final that was! We were treated to 33 of the 35 maximum frames, and Selby just had too much for Murphy in the end. That dish to win it was the clearance of a champion, and what a champion he is; his fourth world title, his ninth Triple Crown. No longer on the cusp of the pantheon of true greats, but part of it. Congratulations to Mark Selby, and commiserations to Shaun Murphy.
Selby 18-15 Murphy
The baulk colours go, but he's left a difficult cut on the blue. He fair smashes it in, but he's on the wrong side of the pink. No matter; Selby sends the white all round the angles through baulk and lands superbly on the black for the title! He has to reset twice due to noises and movement in the Crucible, but he's lining it up now...AND HE'S DONE IT! MARK SELBY IS THE WORLD CHAMPION AGAIN!
Selby 17-15 Murphy (44-57)
Selby takes the red, and then blue to yellow, off the bottom cushion and back up, is near perfect. It's the colours for his fourth world title...
Selby 17-15 Murphy (38-57)
A containing safety from Selby leaves a chance at a red to the right middle. It's though, playing off the bottom cushion, but he strokes it in beautifully. The blue follows, followed by a difficult red down the rail with the rest, and then he splits three tied up reds open after potting the pink! This is simply brilliant from Murphy. There is one red, welded to the left rail, that he needs to negotiate. He drops behind it off the pink, applies the cue and rest extensions...and he's left it in the jaws of the bottom left! Oh my word. The world title is on a plate for Selby!
Selby 17-15 Murphy (38-22)
Selby pots a red and splits the pack, but the white ends up on the right rail and he can only drop the black in deadweight thereafter. That only leaves him a long red to the green pocket. Selby takes it on...and it jaws out! Not only that, he's left it on for Murphy, who wastes now time in chipping away at Selby's lead. After splitting the reds off the blue he's left himself a difficult cutback on a red to the bottom right, but he floats it in superbly. A flick on the brown when potting the green thereafter though has thrown him out of position, and he has to play safe. The tension in the Crucible is off the map right now.
Selby 17-15 Murphy (22-0)
Both players miss bashes at long reds at the start of frame 33. Murphy's is the latter, and he's served up an easy starter for Selby to the left middle. It'll require developing, but it's a chance and Selby is straight into it.
Selby 17-15 Murphy
Under the most intense pressure Murphy racks up his second century in a row, a superb 110 that keeps the heat right under this final. This is more than defiance; these back-to-back, one hit frames, the like of which swept aside Kyren Wilson in the semi-finals, are exactly what Murphy needed to produce today to make a final of this.
And make no mistake, this is on. Selby needs one frame and Murphy, who is gathering momentum, needs three.
Selby 17-14 Murphy (1-71)
Murphy survives losing position slightly to nail a delicate cutback on the black into the bottom left. He then has to take his next red with the spider, followed by another delicate cut on the black, and then a long red into the green pocket. What an effort this is, and a colour now will leave Selby needing a snooker...and the green drops in!
Selby 17-14 Murphy (1-43)
Selby gives four away after missing a thin contact on a red when playing safe. After an exchange of safety shots he then has a thrash at a long red over the bottom left, but it misses and he's left Murphy a straight red to the green pocket. This is a chance, and Murphy is quickly back down the table and opening a cluster of reds off the black. He racks up 20 and there's enough for the frame on here.
Selby 17-14 Murphy (1-19)
Into frame 32 we go and it's Murphy who gets the first nibble, guiding in a mid-range red to the bottom right and landing on the brown. He loses position early though, and is forced to try and make a plant into the bottom right which jaws out. Selby responds by playing rail first and clipping the loose red in, but he's not on the black. He gives away six after initially missing a deadweight drop on the pink, but gets it at the second attempt. This is wonderfully tense stuff.
Selby 17-14 Murphy
It's a round ton for Murphy, who cuts Selby's lead and prolongs the argument.
Selby 17-13 Murphy (7-71)
Murphy's break hits 70, and a further red ends the argument in this frame. He needed five, here's one of them.
Selby 17-13 Murphy (7-56)
Murphy steels himself and picks off an (outwardly) nerveless half-century. Two reds and two high value colours will keep him in this final.
Selby 17-13 Murphy (7-19)
Huge drama at the start of frame 31! Selby misses a long red after Murphy's break off, and leaves a wafer thin cut on to the left middle. Unbelievably, Murphy overcuts it and the red stays out! Did they change the laws of physics in between frames? That didn't even seem possible. Selby mops it up, followed by the pink, but then misses a red to the bottom right and Murphy is in. This, obviously, is a big visit; Murphy has made a lot of mistakes in the balls today, and is now playing under the pressure of knowing that one more might be the end of his night.
Selby 17-13 Murphy
He's got more grit than your local council at the height of summer. Selby fought for this chance, seized it and drained everything out of it; a superb total dish of 120 puts him one frame away from being world champion for a fourth time.
Selby 16-13 Murphy (55-0)
A black secures the half-century, with six reds left on the table. Two are bankers, and it looks like we're done in this one.
Selby 16-13 Murphy (24-0)
With the white near the jaws of the bottom left and every single red north of it, Selby ends a run of nearly 15 minutes without a pot in this frame by cueing a bullet straight red into the right middle and holding position to stay on the black. That's such a shot at this stage, and high risk means high reward; there are reds all over the place and there's a potential frame-winning visit in the offing now. Selby starts meticulously picking them off, having to do very little with the white, and all Murphy can do is sit there and hope.
Selby 16-13 Murphy (0-0)
We're back. Murphy hasn't got a panoramic view of the brink yet, but it's approaching. He went on a quite extraordinary run of frames to beat Kyren Wilson, and will need something similar here. Both players miss early sighters in frame 30, before they start prodding reds to baulk and keeping the white safe near the bottom cushion.
Selby 16-13 Murphy
Not for long though. Selby leaves a chance at a long red to the yellow pocket, and Murphy strokes it in to land on the black. That goes too, and another red-black combo is enough for the frame.
They've split another mini-session then, so it's still a three frame difference. We'll be back in 15, with Mark needing two and Shaun wanting five.
'I don't know how he's missed that' - Murphy with dramatic foul
Selby 16-12 Murphy (11-63)
Murphy leaves himself a difficult pink for his half-century, but drives it in fearlessly to come off two cushions and land on his next red. He reaches 58, and needs red-colour for the frame, but misses a red to the bottom left with the rest. A reprieve for Selby!
Selby 16-12 Murphy (11-34)
Another good safety from Murphy forces a chance, as Selby catches a safety too thick, sends a red over the bottom left and leaves it on for Murphy. It's not a great table, but he can fashion a handy lead here. He's added 29 already, but there are five reds that will need shifting at some point.
Selby 16-12 Murphy (11-5)
In a worrying sign for Murphy, he misses a slightly off-straight red to the bottom right from mid-range. Selby makes an error of his own soon after though, missing a thin contact on a red when playing safe. That leaves Murphy a tight cut on a red to left middle, which he makes but ends up stranded in baulk. It's the first scrappy one of the evening, which Murphy takes charge of with a safety that leaves Selby scratching his head for over two minutes. It was worth the rumination though, as Selby improvises a superb escape by playing off the bottom cushion, clipping a red on the right rail and landing back in baulk.
Selby 16-12 Murphy (11-0)
After a foul by Murphy when trying to drop deadweight on a red on the top cushion, he then connects and leaves the red on for Selby. It's straight, so all Selby can do is guide it in and then roll up behind the yellow. Murphy escapes, but Selby has him in knots again soon after and he clips the pink when trying to play a thin contact on the pack through a narrow tunnel of colours.
Selby 16-12 Murphy
Selby cruises serenely past the winning line in this frame with an additional 68. We've got one frame left in this mini-session, and Murphy surely has to win it.
Selby 15-12 Murphy (64-0)
After Murphy misses a long wallop at a red, Selby gambles on a cut back to the bottom left and makes it, leaving him on the black thereafter. A quick tickle on the reds below the pink soon after opens up the chance to win the frame at this visit.
Selby 15-12 Murphy (40-0)
Humbug. As the fifth black goes in Selby hits the wrong red when trying to open the pack, and he's on nothing. Back to baulk goes the white, and back to the table comes Murphy.
Selby 15-12 Murphy (32-0)
Trouble here for Murphy in frame 28. He catches a safety on the right side of the pack far too thick, clips another nearby red and he's left Selby an easy short red just below the black. It's a good chance, and Selby takes blacks with his first four reds. You know what we haven't ever had in a World Championship final?
Selby 15-12 Murphy
A superb shot on the yellow brings the green out into the open; Murphy then drains that and comes off the bottom cushion and all the way back up to land straight on the brown. Under this pressure those are two fantastic shots. He clears up to the pink, and the fist pump is on the go again; Murphy's still in there and he won't let this go easily.
Selby 15-11 Murphy (48-53)
Selby leaves a chance for Murphy, with a red down the rail a short distance and into the bottom left, and in it goes. This is big. Murphy mops up the remaining reds, and heads north for the baulk colours; he'll need up to the blue.
Selby 15-11 Murphy (48-30)
An excellent shot from Murphy when potting the blue splits two reds below the pink, and he's on one to the bottom right. Disaster strikes on the next shot though as he goes in-off after the pot while trying to shift another red off the right rail. Our referee Paul Collier then has to tell the crowd to calm it down a bit, as there's a lot of calling out between shots.
Selby 15-11 Murphy (44-0)
After landing in the pack when trying to split them, Selby tucks a red into the bottom right with the rest and lands slightly fortuitously on the yellow. He's not so fortunate on his next red though, as he overcuts it to the bottom left, and he's left Murphy in. If it's to be a close run thing tonight, this is a huge visit.
Raucous atmosphere as Selby and Murphy emerge for Crucible final
Selby 15-11 Murphy (28-0)
That will sting Murphy, who was in first again. Selby could turn the screw here, because he's in first in frame 27, with a brilliant slow cut into the left middle and handy position on the brown. He's soon down at the business end of the table, and opens the pack with a cut on a red that simultaneously lands him on the black. The big shot moxie of Murphy is phenomenally impressive, but Selby has it by the crate too.
Selby 15-11 Murphy
Oh my! Selby takes the red along the cushion into the bottom right, and it rattles in the jaws before taking what feels like an aeon to drop. That must have been agonising for Murphy. From there, Selby goes on to make 66. With only the colours remaining, Murphy concedes the frame.
Selby 14-11 Murphy (4-46)
A good recovery pot on a red, after landing the wrong side of the blue to leave a mid-ranger, gets Selby back in position early in the piece. He's wiped out Murphy's lead and a black takes his break to 42 with three reds left on the table. One, just below the black and on the bottom cushion, is the only problem ball in sorting this frame in one hit.
Selby 14-11 Murphy (4-28)
He won't go quietly; Murphy absolutely creams a long red into the bottom left, and he was always going to be on the black that was in the jaws of the bottom right. What a shot! The lesson of this afternoon however, and indeed the match so far, is that these opportunities need to be cashed in if he's going to break the will of Selby. On 17, it goes horribly wrong; a pink rattles out of the right middle, and he's left a load on.
Selby 14-11 Murphy (4-11)
Both players miss long-ish reds before Murphy absolutely mullers a red into the bottom right from distance. The roar that follows from this crowd is ecstatic. Murphy rides his luck with his positional play early in his break, but it eventually runs out when he goes in-off after potting the yellow. No real damage done though, and it's safety for the foreseeable.
We're ready to go, and the Crucible crowd, whipped into a frenzy by Rob Walker, are absolutely jumping. A quick blast of Disco Inferno brings Shaun Murphy into the arena, then Club Foot blares as Mark Selby soon follows. After the necessity of a year of silent contests, this is just utterly glorious to witness. First to 18 then, for the 2021 World Snooker Championship; let's get it popping.
If Murphy is to pull this off then 3-1 minimum in this coming mini-session feels essential, as does taking the opening frame. He was unable to do anything other than split the mini-sessions this afternoon, but will surely have to do so to make it a realistic argument after the scheduled interval. As for Selby, he's got Murphy right where he wants him - needing to force the issue. His plan will be simple; just lean on Murphy until he folds. There are few better in the history of the game at slow rolling their opponents.
Welcome to the final session of the 2021 World Snooker Championship. After 17 long days, it all comes down to this; Mark needs four, Shaun needs seven, with the world title and 500 large on the line. With metronomic regularity, this particular stretch of snooker is not just one of the greatest denouements in sport, it’s one of the most compelling displays of human drama you will see in any walk of life.
The boys will be baized by MC Rob Walker just after 7pm, you are advised to equip yourself with whatever combo of drinks and snacks does it for you and stick with it.
That's us for the afternoon
Thanks for your company so far. We'll be back for the concluding session of this final from 6.45pm, see you then.
O'Sullivan does not think it was right that Selby switched rests to get away with a shot that, in his opinion, was not possible.
"That shot was just never possible," O'Sullivan told Eurosport. "You try not to blame the players, but in that situation, if the player has got the spider out originally and then he is using the rest, surely they should be able to use the technology to see the balls are not right. Because if they were right, you [Selby] would still have the spider in your hands. So maybe they should have used the technology to get it right.
Personally, if I was playing and I was Shaun, I would have been out of my chair and I would have asked to see a freeze-frame to say that shot was not on in the first place. That's what I would have done, but Shaun obviously did not choose to exercise that option.
Should Selby have flagged this dodgy re-spot in his favour?
"You have to blame Shaun in that situation. Selby is maybe just trying to gain a little advantage, and unless he is pulled up on it, maybe he is going to try and take that advantage.
"I know straight away, when you are cueing over with that spider, that's the worst shot in snooker. The first two shots, he would probably do that [scuff it for a miss] 100 times out of 100. So if he is getting the rest out, why didn't he do that in the first place? Now I'm thinking that the balls must be in the wrong position.
Let's get it right, because that ain't right. To me, the first decision would always be the rest over the spider [before the re-spot], no question about that.
After an absorbing and often dramatic session, it's as you were. Selby and Murphy split the session four each, leaving the latter with a daunting task ahead of the conclusion tonight. Murphy played well this afternoon though, certainly much better than last night, and seems to have identified the approach to make a fight of this even if it couldn't nick him the session just gone. If he can win the first mini-session tonight, we could be set for a denouement for the ages. Selby will be happy enough with his work this afternoon, and if he can keep responding in kind then he'll win his fourth world title. Murphy's mistakes are being punished ruthlessly, and Selby is stoutly refusing to allow him to gather the kind of momentum that swept aside Kyren Wilson. That's why he's bagged this crown three times already.
Selby 14-11 Murphy
Selby empties the table for a break of 69, sharing a joke with Murphy as a phone goes off in the crowd. He leads by three frames ahead of the evening session.
Selby 13-11 Murphy (68-0)
A loose safety from Murphy leaves a red right over the bottom right, and Selby rolls it in from distance. The blue thereafter seals the frame, and he's bullet straight on a short red to follow.
Selby 13-11 Murphy (62-0)
Hello, has Selby taken his eye off the ball here? A poor position shot off the blue leaves him a difficult cut on a red to left middle, and he's missed it! That's a real lapse as he looked in total control there. Murphy comes back to a table that still has 75 points available.
Selby 13-11 Murphy (56-0)
Selby is so good in keeping opponents at arms length. After Murphy swept the last two and looked to be gathering some momentum, this response from Selby looks like leaving this final as you were ahead of the evening session. He jabs a red in on the stretch, bridging over others and using the cue extension, before ringing in his half-century with a delicate, close quarters cut on the black. Three more reds will do it from here.
Selby 13-11 Murphy (21-0)
Rattled? Pah! Selby thunders in a long red into the bottom left after Murphy's break, and forces the white out to land nicely on the brown. He's quickly down around the black spot and, in a show of intent, opens the pack good and early. It's a reasonable split, with the black still on to both corners, and this is a very promising chance.
Selby 13-11 Murphy
This is brilliant, defiant stuff from Murphy. He's guaranteed to not lose this session, and he might now go on and win it. He empties the table for a 56, and the fist pump is there again. There's one frame left in this session, and it is enormous.
Selby 13-10 Murphy (0-56)
Murphy loses position again, so there's still work to do here as he plays the white safe into baulk. There's 67 left on the table. Murphy then hoses in his third long red of the frame, digging the white out from under the top cushion and propelling the red into the bottom right, and he's on the yellow. That goes, as does another red; Selby needs snookers, but Murphy's still going.
Selby 13-10 Murphy (0-38)
It's a third chance for Murphy. A miss on a thin contact from Selby leaves a free ball, and with the white behind the brown Murphy puts him back in. Selby gets out of the snooker but leaves a red to the bottom right, and Murphy's off with a booming pot to bring the white back up for the blue. His confidence levels, which always seem high anyway, have not dipped at all here. Murphy's in, and if he can stay there we've got a barnburner of a final frame of the session incoming.
Selby 13-10 Murphy (0-18)
There's been nothing wrong with Murphy's long game in this final, and he smashes in another sensational long red from Selby's break off to land on the brown. Once again though, it's short-lived thrills as he goes into the pack off one cushion after potting the brown and lands on nothing. He's back in though with another long red, floated effortlessly into the bottom right, and he's on the blue. It's not an easy table though, and Murphy only adds 13 with his second bite.
Selby 13-10 Murphy
Murphy quickly secures the frame, and thumps in the pink to bring up a round ton. There was some feeling in that. The break ends there when he misses the yellow with the rest, but winning that quick kill will do him the world of good.
Selby 13-9 Murphy (1-50)
This could be a cathartic blast, as Murphy quickly and smoothly registers a half-century. He's only a few balls away from securing the frame, and he needs a run of visits like this.
Selby 13-9 Murphy (1-19)
Murphy's break off in frame 23 leaves a red on to the right middle, which Selby devours but then misses the green to the right middle. That leaves Murphy a cut on a red to the bottom left, and in it goes. He backs that up with the blue, and it's a chance. We've said this a few times in this final, but he surely has to convert it.
Selby 13-9 Murphy
Selby adds 50 and takes the frame. That was a microcosm of the match for Murphy. He was in first, and couldn't stay there; he got pulled into a safety exchange, and lost it; he ultimately lost an extended frame that further kept him from locating any rhythm and momentum. Selby's four up, and threatening to pull away.
Selby 12-9 Murphy (68-14)
After another safety exchange Murphy has a glimmer at a red to the green pocket. It's not easy, with the white near the bottom cushion, and he misses by a long way. Even worse, he serves it up over the left middle for Selby. That should be that, and looks to be so; a swift 14 from Selby leaves Murphy needing a snooker, and there's more coming.
Selby 12-9 Murphy (54-14)
There's the half-ton for Selby with the pink into the bottom right, but a disastrous canon on a red that he should have glided by has scuppered everything as he's on nowt. He'll not be happy with that shot at all, and he admonishes himself with a slap on the back of his head. All he can do is play a containing safety and Murphy is still in it with 67 left on.
Selby 12-9 Murphy (34-14)
Selby gets in, screwing a red into the bottom left and forcing the white back up for the blue. It's an intricate break early on, requiring a delicate touch to stay in position, but he's got the black back on its spot now and available to both corners. A heavy visit here to clinch the frame would hurt Murphy, who was in first, and extend the lead to four frames for the first time.
Selby 12-9 Murphy (0-14)
We're back, and these are four big old frames in the story of this final. Murphy will be frustrated at splitting the first four of the day; 3-1 in the next batch isn't imperative, but that's what he's got to target as he needs to get something happening, and quick. Splitting them again wouldn't be a disaster, but what he must not do is lose this mini-session.
Murphy starts well enough, with another eye-catching long red drilled fiercely into the bottom right to come back up for the blue. Once again though, he loses the white early in the piece. It's only 14 from this initial visit.
Selby 12-9 Murphy
It's the first ton of the final! Selby empties the table for a 107, and restores his lead to three frames.
That's the mid-session interval, we'll be back with you in 15 minutes.
'Horrible shot' - Selby gets in all kinds of trouble with rest
Selby 11-9 Murphy (69-0)
A black to the bottom left leaves Selby 68 ahead with 67 left on. Another red soon goes, and the players are going to split this mini-session.
Selby 11-9 Murphy (47-0)
Selby's break ends on 23 when he can't land on the potting angle on a red to bottom left. He plays safe, tight in behind the green, and a miss from Murphy when trying to escape lands Selby in the position he'd previously been looking for. He's added another 20 already, and there's more than enough in the open to secure the frame.
Selby 11-9 Murphy (16-0)
Big frame, this, before we head to the interval. Selby drains a long red into the bottom right, followed by the green, but can't get nicely on a red thereafter. He's in with a better chance soon after though as he picks out a plant from the bunch, and gets a helpful canon on the brown that leaves him on the green.
Selby 11-9 Murphy
Selby eventually pots the brown, meaning he needs one snooker on the blue to tie. He won't get it though, as Murphy thunders a long blue into the yellow pocket to settle the frame. He leaves the arena, pumping his fist to the crowd as he does so. It's warming up.
Selby 11-8 Murphy (37-64)
Selby is ticking along nicely until he finishes low on the black, and leaves a difficult cut to the bottom left. He misses it, and now it's a huge chance for Murphy! Red and black go, followed by yellow and a delicate green from a tight angle, and Selby needs two snookers.
Selby 11-8 Murphy (30-51)
Murphy clips the red in, but can't land on a colour. He plays the white safe, or so he thinks; Selby pots his way out of bother by launching a long red into the bottom left and landing on the black! What a shot under pressure. We're in for a long one here given that green, pink and brown are all stuck on cushions, but Selby can get right back in the frame the way the remaining reds are spread.
Selby 11-8 Murphy (0-50)
Selby tries to play the white off the top cushion, bridging high over the brown with the extended spider. It's virtually impossible to line up the cue tip with the white, and he miscues horribly and fouls on two separate attempts. Selby switches to the spider instead, playing off the side of the white and off three cushions, and fouls again. He connects off the fourth attempt after clipping the lower knuckle of the right middle, and he's left a thin cut on a red to bottom right.
Selby 11-8 Murphy (0-38)
In splitting the reds Murphy overruns position on the black, and it's end of break. He gets back in with a long red to the bottom left though, and turns down a pink to the right middle in order to drop tight in behind the brown. There are reds everywhere and this will be so difficult for Selby to get safe.
Selby 11-8 Murphy (0-28)
No signs of deflation in Murphy at the start of frame 20, as he launches in another brilliant long red into the bottom left to land on the blue. He's got adrenalin racing through his veins this afternoon. The break is quickly up to 28; what Murphy really needs to start doing is converting these chances and taking out frames in one hit. That didn't happen yesterday, and he got bogged down in Selby's game and paid for it. It's not getting in that's been the issue, it's staying in.
Selby 11-8 Murphy
Murphy had played the pot deadweight, so it's on as a thin cut for Selby to the same pocket. Calm as you like, Selby glides it in, and he's won a breathless frame!
I know, and this is only afternoon tea.
'Unusual, to say the least' - Chris Henry on coaching BOTH Selby and Murphy
Selby 10-8 Murphy (62-58)
It's all popping off here! Murphy misses a wild effort at the blue that rattles out of three different pockets before going safe, and then for his next shot hits a safety far too hard but flukes the blue in the left middle! Murphy is riding his luck in this exchange. A double kiss from another poor safety from Selby leaves the pink on to the yellow pocket...and it's there! Murphy's on the black to right middle for a sensational steal...and he's missed it high on the knuckle!
Selby 10-8 Murphy (62-47)
No heroics on the brown from Selby as he makes sure of the pot and then plays the blue safe. Murphy plays on, and then draws a foul from Selby after a superb snooker behind the black. It's back on!
Selby 10-8 Murphy (53-42)
Selby cleans up all remaining reds, after one of which he plays a delicate cut on the black with the rest to keep going, and he's on the colours. If he can clean up the baulk variety, he'll have his first frame of the day.
Selby 10-8 Murphy (22-42)
Murphy loses position briefly, but recovers it with a superb long blue to the green pocket. His break clangs to a halt on his next shot though as he misses a red down the left rail. A few shots later, Selby picks off a red over the bottom right, and settles in to his first scoring chance of the afternoon. That ends on 21 as an attempt to split a cluster of reds goes wrong, but he's back in quickly when a poor safety from Murphy allows him to plug a mid-range red to the bottom left.
Selby 10-8 Murphy (0-28)
Selby misses a long red by a good distance for the third time today. In response, Murphy bullets in a long red to the bottom right, evoking a cheer from the Crucible throng akin to a late winner in the Champions League final. This is magnificent stuff. Murphy's flying, and imposing his own game as he needed to; his break is on 28 and counting.
Selby 10-8 Murphy
We're still waiting for the first ton of the final, but this 77 from Murphy bags the opening frame and he now trails by two.
Selby 10-7 Murphy (4-57)
Murphy's break goes to 43 as he drops the pink into the bottom right, opening a cluster of four nearby reds as he does so. The half-century soon follows, and this is exactly the start he needed.
Selby 10-7 Murphy (4-23)
Murphy goes in-off after cutting a red into the left middle, but gets the first big chance of the frame when Selby can't convert a long red from the D. He's got an easy starter and a good spread to go at; this is a big visit.
Selby 10-7 Murphy (0-7)
Murphy gets the first chance, and he doesn't look like he's in the mood to go home wondering. He absolutely hoses a long red into the bottom right, and then cracks in the yellow and tires to split the pack off it. The shot doesn't connect though, and it's end of break. Murphy later picks up four from a miss by Selby, before the frame drifts into a safety exchange.
Here we go
Once again it's a full house, and once again this crowd are bang up for it. A glorious sight, and a glorious racket. My, we've missed this.
Rob Walker has introduced the players, it's time for Act III of the drama. We'll have eight frames this afternoon, with a mid-session after four, and our referee is Paul Collier.
Stakes is high
If Selby can see this through and win, he'll win his fourth world title and his ninth Triple Crown. In both cases, that would put him on the same rung as John Higgins - yes, that one. If Murphy can turn this around, he'll win his second world title 16 years after he won his first, which will be a record. Whoever wins, they'll be walking around thereafter as a world champion and with a cool half mill in their back pocket.
A quick recap
Shaun nicked the first session, while Mark flattened it last night; there were worrying signs for Murphy of the match starting to conform to a pattern the longer it went on, and it's the familiar pattern that Selby sets of a slowly but surely arm-wrestling his opponent into submission. Still, tomorrow is another day, and that day is today, if you get my drift. Murphy needs to put yesterday evening's travails behind him, and try to relocate the form that swept away Kyren Wilson in their semi-final. In short, he needs to start imposing his game on Selby.
'If he plays like that, he's got zero chance' - O'Sullivan's advice for Murphy against Selby
Sleep well? Great. Have a sip of coffee, settle in and get ready for the final day of the 2021 World Snooker Championship. Mark Selby leads Shaun Murphy 10-7, and both players will be back on the baize just after 1pm to sort out the destination of the title.
That's us for tonight
Thanks for your company during an absorbing first day of the 2021 World Championship final. Selby and Murphy will be back on the baize at 1pm and then 7pm for the concluding sessions tomorrow.
We'll be with you for live coverage every step of the way from 12.45pm. Take care out there until then, night night.
Mark Selby takes charge in the final
What a session that was for Selby. He took it 7-2, and has now established a three frame lead in this final. Perhaps more importantly, he really established a pattern in this match. Selby was ruthless in punishing Murphy's mistakes, knocked him out of his rhythm and really put him through the ringer in the safety exchanges. The Magician that destroyed Kyren Wilson last night was denied any opportunity to build momentum. Murphy played Selby at Selby's game tonight, and was schooled. If he's to reverse this flow tomorrow, he'll need to rethink his approach.
Selby 10-7 Murphy
Selby lays a snooker, from which Murphy escapes but leaves a simple yellow on to the bottom left. That'll do it; Selby pots green and brown, and this last frame epic is over.
Selby 9-7 Murphy (64-26)
Selby is a massive favourite here, with brown and blue out of commission, but this is mighty tense. Murphy cracks in the safety exchange and leaves a red on to the bottom right...and Selby drops it in! The green follows, and Murphy now needs three snookers. He gets the final red down, possibly without meaning to, and is then forced to pot a superb pink into the green pocket. On we go, but it's a massive uphill task for Murphy on the colours.
Selby 9-7 Murphy (60-19)
As you'd expect in a safety battle involving Selby, it's Selby that has the edge. He traps Murphy behind the brown, a snooker that earns eight points as Murphy misses an attempt to hit one red and then the other. If he misses again he'll need snookers, but he connects on the third attempt and knocks the object ball safe.
Selby 9-7 Murphy (52-19)
Murphy claws back 11 from the two loose reds, before the frame descends into a safety battle on the final two reds. We could be here a while.
Selby 9-7 Murphy (52-8)
Danger for Selby as a misjudged canon leaves him a delicate cut back on a red using the rest, but he calmly strokes it in. For the second time today though he then misses a shocker of a blue, virtually straight again, and Murphy's coming back to the table. That looked a tap-in!
Selby 9-7 Murphy (38-8)
Murphy needs out of here. He misses a long red to the bottom right by a long way, and sticks it up over the left middle for Selby. The reds are set very nicely indeed, and although the black is in baulk the pink and blue are on their spots. It's 26 and counting so far for Selby.
Selby 9-7 Murphy (12-8)
Once more, then. Murphy breaks off, and leaves a red on to the right middle. In it goes, and Selby then drains a yellow to come perfectly down the table and land on a red above the black. He's playing so well tonight that he'll rue the end of the session. That said, he's just missed a thin cut on a black to the bottom left. He's not left anything for Murphy initially, but from Selby's next safety he accidentally pots the black and leaves a red over the bottom left. Murphy steps in, and pots his first red in over an hour, but then misses the black badly while driving the white into the pack. Amazingly though, he's not left anything.
Selby 9-7 Murphy
It's the final frame of the night, and Selby's away first. He plugs two superb mid-range reds either side of the blue, but then misses the yellow to hand a reprieve to Murphy. Selby then fires in another plant, but can't land on a colour. Whoever's in next has a great chance, because there are reds all over here. After a good safety escape from Selby though we're staring at a lengthy spell of tap and nudge safety, and the players agree a re-rack.
Selby 9-7 Murphy
Selby gives away four after shorting a roll-up safety, but after s lengthy safety exchange he regains control of the frame with an outrageous fluke on a red into the right middle after wildly missing a pot to the bottom left. There's no mock fainting with surprise tonight; Selby is properly tuned in to this session and another 29 gives him a two frame lead.
Selby 8-7 Murphy (59-0)
A tense safety battle is finally ended when Selby glides a long red into the bottom right and lands on the brown. There's enough in the open here for him to sort the frame, but after booming in the pink he doesn't get enough action on the white, and can't split two nearby reds so plays safe. It's a commanding lead, and this is a vile table with three of the remaining reds and the black out of commission.
Selby 8-7 Murphy (47-0)
Selby pots two reds in one shot, but loses position on the pink and it's the end of his break on 39. He puts the black safe for insurance, but Murphy's still right in this one.
Selby 8-7 Murphy (21-0)
We've got two frames left tonight, and it feels important for Murphy to win at least one as the momentum has all been with Selby tonight. He gives away eight after twice failing to make thin contact with a red in baulk; rather than risk losing the frame with the same shot, Murphy has a thrash at a long red to the bottom right and misses it. Both players then miss cuts on reds by a long way, before Selby drops a red into the yellow pocket to land on the brown. There's a good spread on here, with blue, pink and black all in the open.
Selby 8-7 Murphy
This is brilliant from Selby; he empties the table for a break of 90, and leads in this final for the first time.
Selby 7-7 Murphy (51-34)
A superb black by Selby, cut thin into the bottom left at full stretch, keeps the break going just as it looked like it might falter. The half-century goes in the books, and he'll need the remaining two reds with high value colours and the yellow to nick another one.
Selby 7-7 Murphy (39-34)
This is warming up. Selby drills a long red into the bottom left, topspinning the white through off the bottom cushion and landing on the yellow. He's quickly into a menacing counter-attack, 39 and counting with four reds to go.
Selby 7-7 Murphy (0-34)
Selby misses a wild thrash at a red to the bottom right. After a double kiss the white ends up stuck to the pack, but Murphy does will to bridge over it and delicately drop in a red to land on the black. He later cues a red superbly into the bottom left from mid-range to screw back for the blue. The power he can generate while making it look so effortless really is something. Again though he can't convert an early chance into a frame winner as he loses position when going into the pack, and it's end of break.
Ref calls stop to frame for re-rack as Selby and Murphy at stalemate
Selby 7-7 Murphy
A 57 from Selby levels this final up again.
Selby 6-7 Murphy (73-0)
Selby should go level here, as he wallops in a long red to the bottom left and the cue ball crashes into the blue to leave a good angle on the green. The reds are open and it's routine from here, with Selby quickly potting frame ball.
Selby 6-7 Murphy (52-0)
Selby loses position after missing a canon on one red to free a path to another, but improvises superbly to make a plant out of them into the bottom left. His break ends soon after though, when he goes into the pack but lands on nothing. It's been a pattern of the match so far; the players are getting in but quite often failing to convert chances into frame winners.
Selby 6-7 Murphy (32-0)
Murphy misses a thin contact on a red, and leaves a free ball. Selby calmly drops the green into the bottom left, floated at a serene pace, and he's off. The black is wide open to both corners, and there are several reds available; for the second time today, Selby has a chance at a 16 red break.
Selby 6-7 Murphy
A break of 64 restores Murphy's lead.
Selby 6-6 Murphy (34-70)
Twist ahoy? Selby leaves a difficult cut on a red to the left middle; he catches it too thin, and misses it high on the knuckle. End of break, and a chance for Murphy to steal it. He needs all remaining reds and colours, and smoothly starts picking them off; the final red is frame ball, and he calmly glides it into the bottom left with the rest. The pink follows, and he'll be back in front. You sense that Murphy needed this.
Selby 6-6 Murphy (14-33)
Murphy's break abruptly ends when he sticks to the pack after potting the black, and he's on nish. Selby replies with a delicate cut on a red to left middle, and he's in after following up with the blue.
Selby 6-6 Murphy (0-17)
We're back, and we've got five more frames for you. We'll have more drama than Line of Duty, my word on that. Murphy gets the first red of frame 13 down, but can't add to it; he gets another go then when Selby misses a thin contact safety and leaves a red on to the right middle. In it goes, followed by the green and he's now jabbing pots in around the black spot.
Selby 6-6 Murphy
A gritty 86 from Selby levels the match.
That's the mid-session interval, we'll be back in 15 minutes.
Selby 5-6 Murphy (56-0)
It's been hard work and low-scoring, but a 35 and counting from Selby leaves Murphy needing snookers with just 51 remaining.
Selby 5-6 Murphy (32-0)
Selby draws on his pool skills to pick out and nail a three ball plant into the bottom right. He makes 16 before getting snarled up in the reds and playing onto the green on baulk. He's soon back in with a thin snick on a red to the bottom left, and this looks like a chance he can make stick.
Selby 5-6 Murphy (5-0)
Selby gets a solitary red down after a mistake by Murphy, but can't force position on the black. He has more joy with his next red, a brilliant long cut dumped into the bottom left, because he's on the green. Just as it looks like being a chance though he makes a mess of a straight red with the rest, clipping the black with the object ball and sending the pot off line, and it's end of break.
Selby 5-6 Murphy
It's another cracking long red from Murphy, cut into the bottom left and careering into other reds, and he's just about on the black. That goes and he misses his next red, but with a stalemate soon taking hold referee Paul Collier offers a re-rack and both players agree.
'A beauty' - Murphy nails gorgeous long red in final
Selby 5-6 Murphy
Murphy misses the brown, and concedes. Selby is just one behind again.
Selby 4-6 Murphy (68-34)
Selby makes 67 before running out of position on the green, and Murphy needs three snookers to tie. Murphy is forced to pot the green and will go for it on the brown.
Selby 4-6 Murphy (59-31)
It's another half-ton for Selby, and if he can clear the remaining reds Murphy will need a snooker. He calm rolls the final red in down the right rail and into the bottom right, and he's on the black.
Selby 4-6 Murphy (21-31)
Selby has a yahoo at a long red into the bottom left, which loops up and out of the jaws like a failed three-point shot in basketball, and he's left Murphy in. A stray red soon disappears, but from it Murphy misses a canon to land nicely on the black by millimetres and has to play safe. Selby responds with a booming long red of his own, and traps Murphy in behind the yellow thereafter. Murphy escapes, but he's left Selby on a red to the bottom right. He's off, and it's a great chance.
Selby 4-6 Murphy (0-30)
KA-BLAM! After a foul by Selby a brilliant long red from Murphy, with the white launched across the table and the red into the bottom left, draws a huge cheer of appreciation. What a pot! Murphy adds 26 but after finishing on the wrong side of the blue he can only affect a glancing contact on the pack off two cushions, and he's on nothing.
Selby 4-6 Murphy
No century, but a 98 from Murphy restores his two frame lead.
Selby 4-5 Murphy (0-76)
Frame ball red goes, followed by the black. This has been effortless from Murphy.
Selby 4-5 Murphy (0-52)
It's a high quality start tonight, as Murphy quickly turns this chance into his fifth half-century of the match. There are two reds to the left of the pink spot and one on to the yellow pocket, and if he can pick them off with high value colours he should be home.
Selby 4-5 Murphy (0-21)
Oof, this is a bad safety shot from Selby; there's a huge margin for error but he sends the white into a stray red on its way back to baulk, and it's on to the left middle. Murphy's away first again, and still has four loose reds to go for before he has to worry about the pack.
Selby 4-5 Murphy
That's a big steal, as 85 takes the frame for Selby.
Selby 3-5 Murphy (58-49)
Selby takes a black to make his half-century, and drops in straight behind the final red down the left rail as he does so. That goes, as does the blue; up to the blue on the colours will nick this...
Selby 3-5 Murphy (15-49)
In getting to 49 Murphy screws back when potting the black, but he misses the intended contact on the pack and lands in baulk. That's end of break on 49, and after a few safety shots Selby drops a long red deadweight into the bottom right. There's a good spread on here, and Selby should get right back in this.
Selby 3-5 Murphy (0-25)
Murphy drains a long red to the bottom right, and he's on the green. It's a good early chance, and he quickly clears the path for the black to go into both corners.
Here we go
The boys are baized and we're good to go. We've got nine frames for you tonight, let's get about it.
A quick recap
Murphy leads by two, but could quite easily have trailed by two as several frames in that opening stanza swung back and forth, and were decided on the colours. If this carries on, we're in for a close final.
Welcome to our evening session, I'm your Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq for tonight. The boys will be back on the baize just after 7pm.