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Selby Stuns The Rocket

 Selby & Ronnie

Mark Selby held his nerve to dramtically ground the Rocket with a 13-11 victory in the World Snooker Championship. He'll now face the resurgent Graeme Dott in his second semi-final in four years at the Crucible.

In the afternoon session, O'Sullivan who had look distracted in the previous session, was at the races. The three-time winner was in no mood to be put off, knocking in four fifty plus breaks and a century as he won five of the eight frames.

Selby a finalist three years ago has had the measure of O'Sullivan in their most recent encounter, the Masters final where he came out on top. He won that match 10-9 from 9-6 down and had to show the same resolve in this match.

Breaks of 81, 92, 89, 86, a 117 and 52 put the Rocket in charge but Selby hung in there. He took the final two frames of the session with a 104 and 62 followed by a fist pump to show his determination.

The evening session saw the opening two frames shared but in the next frame Selby opened with a break of 49 before missing a red to a middle pocket. After a bout of safety Selby was able to clear up following a poor escape from a snooker by O'Sullivan.

The Jester from Leicester then missed a great chance to level the match score. He missed a black off it's spot and O'Sullivan didn't need a second invitation, a run of 75 put him 11-9 up and two frames away from a ninth semi-final place.

Selby had other ideas, a 108 reduced his arrears to a single frame before he took the next two with a top run of 46 to turn the match on it's head. The tension in the next frame was palpable, both players missed a host of chances before Selby claimed it on the brown.

Post match reaction

Mark Selby

For the majority of the match I don't think I scored well enough and I had to revert to plan B. I never give in which is my strategy anyway and I managed to keep grinding it out. It's not all about big breaks.

You could look at it from both sides, he would have been gutted he wasn't further in front same as myself. I'd take 4-4 irrelevant of who your playing it's not a bad start to a best of 25 match.

I felt as though I had every chance, until they get to 13 which is the number required in the quarter-finals.

He played well this afternoon and probably deserved to be in front but there's a massive difference between 9-7 and 10-6. to win those last two frames was massive for me.

You get nerves in anay match, in my first match against Ken (Doherty) I was nervous but played well and came through. It's what the Crucible is all about, ever since I was a kid is to go on and win the World Championship so it's a little bit of added pressure for me. For someone like Ronnie who's been there and done he doesn't show his nerves as much as me or other players.

I had a few down (supporters) probably about fifteen but not as many as him.

Same as every other match, one frame at a time, one ball at a time. Graeme has been World Champion before and knows what to expect.

It's very special (the one table setup), I've only experienced it once but I'm going out there and relish it tomorrow.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

I cannot keep coming in here and moaning to you lot, And trying to get you know whats happening in my little world. So its probably the less said the better.

I have not felt confident and comfortable winning for the last seventeen to eighteen  years, thats just how it is, so I'm not going to keep going on about it, it was just one of those games.

You kind of get to know your own endings sometimes, your watching it thinking anything can happen but inside you kind of know whats going to pan out.

Its like a long drawn out affair sometimes.

I've felt like that for a long time, even the world titles that I've won.

It was relief when it was over. Becauce at no time did I feel I was in control of my game or myself.

So it can become quite a painful experience a lot of the time.

I've stuck it for a long time, longer than anticipated to do. So there is some positives because I know I've tried my hardest.

The competitive side of me wants to perform, and win and I want it to hurt when I lose.

I don't play well in practice, so its not like I can say its the pressure,competition or whatever. So thats how bad it is sometimes to pot a ball. I wasn't like that up until I was sixteen years old. For a long time its been a struggle,and probably because of my ability its been my bad game that has got me through the last sixteen years playing poor.

The positives that I can take out of it are that  I know I have been a great player, I am a great player, its just a shame that I have not been able to perform the way I used to.

I just have to take matches like that on the chin.

I don't need snooker, no I don't. I love the game, its been great to me, I love the game. I will always be involved in the game, because its in my blood but I don't need it really but its like a drug.

I know I will miss it,I will always be thinking what if, but I've had seventeen years of trying and hoping thinking my game can turn around. But I know I've given it my best, I cannotr give it anymore than I have done.

29th April 2010, 12:00
Page updated 29th Apr 2010, 12:00
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