2020 Scottish Open – Day 6 – Mark Selby joins Ronnie in the Final

Mark Selby has won yesterday’s evening semi-final by 6-1, and will play Ronnie in the final today. Some fans are still seeing the Home Nations tournaments as a bit of a lottery because of the short format in the early rounds but there have been no real surprise winners over the last years. Today will see the Defending Champion play the World Champion in the Final and we had exactly the same scenario at the Northern Ireland Open last month.

Mark Selby had far too much for Jamie Jones. Here is the report by WST:

Stunning Selby Reaches Final

Defending champion Mark Selby thrashed Jamie Jones 6-1 to reach the Matchroom.Live Scottish Open final.

Selby will now face a familiar foe in World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan for the Stephen Hendry Trophy and the £70,000 top prize. They will contest tomorrow’s final over the best of 17 frames. O’Sullivan holds the edge in head-to-head meetings between the pair, leading 16-10.

Selby, a winner of 18 career ranking titles, remains undefeated in the Scottish Open. His 9-6 win over Jack Lisowski in last year’s final saw him win the event in his maiden appearance. This week’s run puts him one match away from winning the title for a second consecutive year.

The Jester from Leicester has also won in all of his previous ten ranking finals, including this season’s BetVictor European Masters, leaving him one behind the record of 11 consecutive wins set by Stephen Hendry.

Defeat for Jones sees him bow out with the consolation of £20,000. This run to the semis is his best showing since returning to the tour via Q School earlier this year. Jones has comfortably earned his place in the top 32 of this season’s one-year list and will be at next week’s World Grand Prix.

In a breathtaking display, Selby fired in breaks of 123, 128, 101 and 53 on his way to establishing a 5-0 advantage. A run of 99 from Jones saw him claim his solitary frame, before Selby ruthlessly charged over the line with a break of 93.

Selby said: “It was more or less a faultless performance. The first frame was a bit edgy, but after that every time I got a chance, I won the frame. It was pretty much the perfect performance.

“I’m very close to my best form. If you play like that then you can beat anybody on your day. It is good to know my game is still there. Sometimes you question yourself when you are struggling, but I think I’ve been really consistent this season and played well the majority of the time. It has taken a good performance to beat me.

I know Ronnie is still at the top of the game, but you don’t know how much longer he is going to play for. He is great for the game and a genius on the table. He is one of the all-time greats depending on what people say, whether it is Hendry or O’Sullivan. For me I’d go Ronnie as the greatest ever. When you get the chance to play him, whether it is in the final or not, it is always a great occasion.

And this is how Ronnie became the first Finalist earlier in the day

I was surprised how comprehensively Jamie Jones had beaten Kyren Wilson. Now here is an explanation:

NickMetcalfe - Kyren Wilson accident

Kyren is still in pain. Hopefully he will get better before his next match in the World Grand Prix.

Speaking about the World Grand Prix, the line-up is known, but the draw, made on the base of strict players’ seeding in the one year list, can still change.  Ronnie is currently 5th in that list and set to play Ali Carter, but a win today would see him climb to 4th, swapping with Kyren Wilson, and he would then play Kurt Maflin instead.

The World Grand Prix starts tomorrow evening, with four matches:

Neil Robertson (2) v Robert Milkins (31)
Barry Hawkins (12) v Ricky Walden (21)
Joe Perry (14) v Anthony McGill (19)
John Higgins (7 ) v Xiao Guodong (26) 

When WST published the linked article, Jamie Jones could still have superseeded  John Higgins by reaching the Final.

Based on what we have seen so far this week, Mark Selby has to be favourite to win today. Mark has won the last ten ranking finals he has been involved in, as mentioned in the above report,  and he’s on form. He will have the extra motivation of equalling one of Hendry’s records. Ronnie played OK yesterday in the second half of the match, but still not great. One thing though that he has shown this season is a strong competitive spirit and will to win.