Selby edges out Higgins in thrilling China Championship final


Mark Selby and John Higgins have seven world titles between them

Mark Selby beat John Higgins 10-9 in a thrilling China Championship final to win his first ranking title this year.

In a seven-hour match that finished after midnight local time, the 35-year-old Englishman prevailed in a scrappy final frame to claim his 15th career ranking title – and seventh in China.

Selby took a 3-1 lead in Guangzhou, but after that there was never more than one frame separating them.

When Scot Higgins missed a key red in the decider, Selby’s 35 sealed the win.

World number one Selby settled quickest – breaks of 82 and 70 helping him lead 3-1 before Higgins took three frames in succession.

Selby’s 118 was countered in the next by Higgins’ 85 as a high-quality encounter reached the interval with Higgins leading 5-4.

Selby won three of the first four frames in the evening to go 7-6 in front, before Higgins won two on the spin and Selby a tight 16th frame to make it 8-8.

Higgins won an arduous 17th frame on the final black and jumped out into a 48-0 lead in the next to move within touching distance of the win only to see Selby snatch the frame and force the decider.

The gripping final met with the approval of the watching Ronnie O’Sullivan

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