Mark Selby succesfully defended his Scottish Open title yesterday, beating Ronnie very comprehensively by 9-3. Mark has now won 11 consecutive ranking finals, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record. This is Mark’s 19th ranking title, on par with Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.
Congratulations Mark Selby!
Here are the reports by WST:
Selby Secures Lead In Final
Defending champion Mark Selby emerged from the first session of his Matchroom.Live Scottish Open final with World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan leading 6-2.
It’s the first time the pair have met since their epic World Championship semi-final clash earlier this year. On that occasion, O’Sullivan rallied from 16-14 down to win 17-16. He’ll be hoping for a similar turnaround this evening.
Selby is aiming to win the Stephen Hendry Trophy and the £70,000 top prize for the second year in a row, after sealing the title with a 9-6 win over Jack Lisowski in the final 12 months ago.
They shared the opening two frames this afternoon, before a century run of 102 saw Selby move 2-1 up. He then claimed a tightly contested fourth frame to head into the mid-session 3-1 ahead.
When they returned, Selby had looked to be on the verge of taking the fifth, but a stunning clearance of 58 saw O’Sullivan steal on the black and make it 3-2.
Selby added the sixth and seventh frames to his tally and had looked set to claim the eighth, when he established a commanding 59-0 lead in the frame. O’Sullivan embarked on another spectacular clearance to steal. However, having done the hard work, he inexplicably missed a straightforward red to the top right corner and allowed Selby to seal his 6-2 lead.
They will return at 7pm to play the best of 17 frame tie to a conclusion.
Selby Storms To Scottish Open Title
Mark Selby beat World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-3 in the final of Matchroom.Live Scottish Open to lift the title for a second consecutive year.
The win sees world number four Selby secure the £70,000 top prize and the Stephen Hendry Trophy. The Jester from Leicester remains undefeated in the Scottish Open, having won the title in his first appearance in the event last year. Selby defeated Jack Lisowski 9-6 in the final 12 months ago.
He has now won his last 11 ranking final appearances in a row, you have to go back to the 2016 Shanghai Masters final for his most recent defeat. That sees Selby equal the record for consecutive final wins with Hendry.
This evening’s victory avenges a gut-wrenching World Championship semi-final defeat to O’Sullivan in the most recent meeting between the pair. On that occasion O’Sullivan rallied from 16-14 down, to win 17-16. O’Sullivan remains ahead of Selby in head-to-head meetings, leading 16-11.
Selby has now amassed 19 ranking titles over his career so far. That draws him level with Neil Robertson in seventh position on the all-time ranking event winner’s list.
Selby established a commanding 6-2 lead during this afternoon’s first session. When they returned this evening, the 37-year-old showed no signs of relinquishing his hold on the match. Selby fired in breaks of 78 and 51 in the first frame of the night, to extend his advantage to 7-2.
O’Sullivan kept himself in contention by claiming the tenth frame, but a run of 61 helped Selby to come from behind and take the eleventh to move one from victory. The Rocket had looked set to extend the match, when he embarked on a 147 attempt. However, he missed a routine red on 64 and opened the door for Selby, who ruthlessly crafted a run of 74 to secure victory.
“To win any tournament is fantastic, but when you are going back as defending champion, it is always nice to try and win it again,” said three-time Crucible king Selby. “You never want to go out early as a defending champion. Thankfully for me, I’ve managed to come here and do a good job. I think I’m 100% in the Scottish Open. I’ve only played in it twice and won it twice.
“It is fantastic to equal Stephen Hendry’s record for consecutive wins in finals. He is one of the all-time greats and was one of the players I looked up to as a young lad growing up. To equal a record of his is amazing. I had a phase many years ago when I was getting to ranking finals and not converting them into wins. Now it is going the other way.
“I am a perfectionist and if I’m not doing something how I want it to be, then I get down on myself. I’m always striving to get better. I’m not getting any younger, but there is no reason while you are healthy that you can’t try to get better. That’s what I’m aiming for so I will still be back on the practice table tomorrow working hard for the World Grand Prix.”
O’Sullivan said: “That’s just the way snooker goes sometimes. Some days you are the bug and some days you are the window screen. Today I was the bug.
“It has been a tough week, apart from the first round where I was pretty flawless. From that moment onwards I’ve had tip problems and it was like I was on a slide downwards, rather than one going upwards. Each match got worse and worse. It is really hard to turn that around.”
It was a straight forward victory for the three-time world champion, in a contest in which he was never behind, but he was happy to add a bit of spice to proceedings after the match.
While he described O’Sullivan as the ‘best player to play the game’ he also made subtle digs at the Rocket’s recent comments about his cue action and troublesome tip.
‘To win any tournament nowadays is great, I’m really really happy,’ Selby told Eurosport.
‘Don’t feel as though I played fantastic today, could have played a lot better, I felt like I was searching for my cue action all day.
‘In patches in some matches I feel like I’ve played as good as I can play, still a lot of things to work on.
‘A few shots I wasn’t happy with, didn’t cue them that well. A lot to work on on the practice table but the signs are good.
‘If I was to choose to win a tournament I’d choose to play Ronnie in the final every time.
‘He’s the best player to play the game, but today he didn’t play fantastic, I don’t feel like I played great, I probably need a new tip on.’
O’Sullivan also continued his recent policy of playing on in frames in which he needs multiple snookers, far more than is realistic to win.
‘I don’t know, it is what it is. I went into the match knowing he was going to do that so I was ready for it and prepared,’ said Selby. ‘It was a strange one, you’d have to ask him.
‘One thing I will say is if that was me doing it, carrying on from 80 behind I know the commentators would have absolutely crucified me and slaughtered me.
‘I’ve watched it this week, him carrying on against other players, and everyone’s scared to say anything because it’s Ronnie so they don’t say anything.
‘If that had been me, for sure I’d be crucified by social media and the commentators as well.
‘I’m not going to stoop down to that level. People say I’m slow enough, I ain’t going to carry on on the pink and black for another half hour.’
Actually there were some negative comments on Eurosport during matches this week. But Mark is right to an extend, he would probably be attacked on social media much more than Ronnie has been.
O’Sullivan made no excuses for his below-par performance in the final, crediting the champion for outplaying him.
‘Mark played fantastically well, I’ve got no complaints, I didn’t really do a lot wrong,’ the Rocket told Eurosport.
‘Just some days you just don’t score enough points and put your opponent under enough pressure.
‘When you get to finals you expect to have to do that, I just didn’t do that good enough.’
Here are the scores:
There were only two positive points in that match for Ronnie: he tried very hard right to the last balls and the 58 clearance he made in frame five was a gem. Other than that he missed too many relatively easy balls, and his long potting was inexistent.
This is how he felt after missing the last red in frame 8. It should have been 5-3, not 6-2 but … 6-2 it was. If I’m honest I was feeling the same when that happened …