UK Championship finalists - Neil Robertson & Mark Selby
Check out photos from the Williamhill UK Championship here, courtesy of Monique Limbos. Full results from the tournament can be found here at SnookerOrg.
There was a huge amount at stake for both Mark Selby and Neil Robertson at tonight's Williamhill.com UK Championship final at the Barbican Centre in York.
Selby was aiming to become the first player to defend the UK title in nearly two decades (Stephen Hendry 94-96) and Robertson was looking to complete snooker's 'Triple Crown' of big tournaments, having already won World and Masters titles in recent years.
Leicester's Selby started the first session strongly, making an impressive 130 to open his account, before later adding further top breaks of 49 and 57 to stretch his lead to 5-1 over the Australian.
Thankfully for Robertson he was able to pull together a run of 54 in the seventh frame before finishing the session in style with a well controlled 123 to keep himself firmly in the match at 5-3.
When they resumed for the final session, Robertson continued to have the momentum and won three of the first four frames, which included fantastic back-to-back centuries of 122 and 132 to leave the match nicely poised at 6-6.
With Selby having been frozen out for most of the evening, he struggled for consistancy as Robertson took the next two to lead 8-6, before the Jester finally got another frame on the board with a break of 74, his highest run over 50 since the fifth frame.
In what was to be the most crucial moment of the encounter, Robertson saw his lead of 48 dwindling away in the next frame with Selby looking likely to clear up and level the match. He got to the final black but he left it awkward and it jawed in the pocket, leaving it up for his opponent to go 9-7 clear.
The 2010 World Champion & 2012 Masters Champion then did what comes naturally to him and with his first decent chance he made the all-important break of 57 to clinch frame and match 10-7, taking with him the tropy and the £150,000 prize money.
More importantly to Robertson he can now consider himself as one of snooker's all-time greats, having become the eighth player and the first overseas one to have won snooker's prestigious 'Triple Crown' of the big BBC events.
"To be the first player from outside the UK to have win all three major titles is the best feeling in the world," said the 31-year-old. "Me and Ding Junhui turned professional at the same time, and to get the Triple Crown before him is a fantastic achievement," added Robertson.
Speaking about the match, he said; "Mark was too good for me in the first session. Tonight I came out 6-3 and I just had to play top snooker to get back in the match. When I beat John Higgins at the Wuxi Classic I thought I played well, but tonight was definitely the best I have ever done in a final."
Unlike Robertson, Selby has a bad record in ranking events at this stage, having lost seven out of his 10 finals appearances. "I played half-decent in the first session," said the 30-year-old.
"Unfortunately tonight I was very poor, I didn't deserve to win. If I had potted the black to make it 8-8, I probably wouldn't of deserved it. Overall i've not played at my best this week and to have even made the final was a good achievement for me," added Selby.
With tonight's victory, Robertson is well clear at the top of the rankings and looks to get better and better with each event he wins. In this form you wouldn't bet against him becoming only the fourth player to win all the three major events in the same season.
Next up on the pro tour is the German Masters and World Open qualifiers played back-to-back at the Barnsley Metrodome. With the new, flat 128-man draw system in place it means that all the players, including Robertson and Selby, have to win one match in order to reach the venues.
Williamhill.com UK Championship Final - Frame Scores
Neil Robertson 10-7 Mark Selby
1-130 (130), 76-0 (63), 10-75, 0-89, 22-68 (57), 39-68, 65-21 (54), 123-0 (123), 22-70, 101-1 (56), 122-0 (-122), 132-0 (132), 71-26, 61-28, 0-116 (74), 59-47, 82-36 (57)
Williamhill.com UK Championship Champion - Neil Robertson