Shanghai Masters 2011 - Selby Stuns Williams in Shanghai
The Jester from Leicester Mark Selby has won his first ranking title since the Welsh Open in 2008 by beating Mark Williams 10-9 from 9-7 down at the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters 2011 in Shanghai.
Mark Selby took a 5-4 lead over Mark Williams going in to the evening session. It was a nip and tuck session where no player took a clear lead. It was a stark contrast to last year's final where both Ali Carter and Jamie Burnett looked clearly exausted. Selby made breaks of 113, 74, 78 and 95 and Williams made 132, 51 and a 67 in the final frame of the session.
They restarted at 7.45 local time in Shanghai so a late finish was definitely on the cards and the crowds definitely weren't dissappointed at the Grand Stage. The final session was one to be remembered and was full of amusing incidents and had everything except from a century break!
The most amusing thing that happend and one that probably turned the balance of the game happend in the 17th frame. Williams looked set to win the last frame he needed at 9-7 and had a 47-5 lead and put Selby in a snooker behind the brown. Selby played the old 'hit and hope' shot and scattered the reds everywhere but it wasn't immediately clear where he hit a red or the pink first.
The referee for the match Eirian Williams thought he had hit the red and so did Selby but Mark Williams thought it hit the pink first so they had to check the replay. It took several views of the replay to come up with a decision but eventually it was left up to the naked eye to decide and it looked like the red moved slightly before the pink and it wasn't called a foul.
The controversial incident in Shanghai. Forget Red or Black, this is Red or Pink!
Williams attempted to then pot a tricky red along the cushion which he missed and Selby stole the frame to trail only 9-8. Williams did have further chances to win the next frame including a green off his spot which he missed and Selby stole the frame to force the decider. At this point it was looking destined that Williams was going to lose his 3rdfinal in a year from being one away from victory.
In the decider Williams played a shot completely unlike him, smashing in to the balls in a clear sign of frustration and dissappointment that at this time (now 00:30 am in Shanghai) that it wasn't going to be his tournament. Selby then duly potted a good few finals balls to finish the match and win the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters in fine style.
Once again Selby has shown that you never can count him out and looked cool and calm throughout the last few frames. This victory is an important one for many reasons, apart from the fact it's his first ranking title since the 2008 Welsh Open and his first 'major' since the 2010 Masters it also means he will be the official world number one when the rankings are updated next month after PTC6.
It makes him the first ever player to be world number one without having won the World Championship at some point. He has also never won the UK Championship so he will definitely be one of the favourites this December in York to take the title there. This win also guarentees his return to the Snooker Premier League next season which will be a relief for him as his missed out in this years tournament due to not having won a major last year.
Mark Williams will obviously be dissappointed here. Since returning to form he has only won 1 of the 4 finals he has featured in and in and this loss might set him back a few months. Hopefully for him he will be able to push it aside ahead of the UK championship and show us once again why he recaptured his world no.1 spot at the end of last season after dropping out of the top 16 only a few seasons prior.
Once again, congratulations to the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters Champion, the jester from Leicester Mark Selby and all the best for the rest of the season!