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Monday, 1 May 2017

World Final Selby Reigns Supreme

Mark Selby is the champion of the world again after beating John Higgins 18-15 to claim the title for a third time in four years at the Crucible this evening.

In doing so he joins a very exclusive club of back to back winners here that also includes Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry & Ronnie O'Sullivan and has now firmly established himself as the greatest champion of his generation.

Starting today at only 10-7 behind having struggled for much of yesterday,the parallels with the 2014 final against Ronnie were there to see and the vital third session was almost a carbon copy of three years ago.Here  Selby switched into full suffocation mode & this coupled with some superb breaks when the chances occurred saw him turn that 10-7 deficit into a 13-11 lead at the end of a shortened afternoon session.

Into the evening and any hopes of a revival  for Higgins seemed remote as Selby stretched further ahead  to lead 16-12 at the interval.To his credit Higgins dug deep like the great champion he is,claiming the next three to get within one at 16-15,but when Selby knocked in another brilliant pressure red in the next to start a nerveless break of 131,the writing was on the wall and he duly did the necessary in the next to seal the 18-15 win.

As a result of this Selby has virtually secured his place at the top of the world rankings for the foreseeable future & when we consider that this was his fifth title of a season that also include another UK crown,this may be as close to total dominance as we're ever likely to see again.

For Higgins,well he will be devastated that he let a 10-4 lead,with an opponent seemingly all at sea, slip through his fingers. Looking at it now its hard not to draw comparisons between him and his fellow 41 yr old Wladimir Klitschko who at the weekend lost in a dramatic fight against Anthony Joshua.These were truly great champions,giving it their all,but ultimately time was shown to have caught up with both of them.

As for Selby people will now  be talking about him in terms of been alongside the likes of Hendry ,Davis,O'Sullivan & Higgins in the all time list. Personally I don't think it does ,but rather than rain on his parade tonight I will blog about it later in the week.One thing that is for sure is that he has a depth of belief  that makes him very hard to beat when he he up for it and he sets the target all must aim for when the new season starts in about a months time!!

Finally thank you to everyone who read this blog during the championship,I hope you found it informative & enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.Don't forget I can also be found on Twitter @thegreenbaize.

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