Grand Stage, Shanghai, China
5-11th September 2011
RESULTS, DRAW & CENTURIES - WATCH LIVE - LIVE SCORES
MARK KING 0 - 6 MARK SELBY
Mark King already had a brilliant run to reach this semi-final, beating the defending champion Ali Carter 5-4 in the first round and then beating Fergal O'Brien and Anthony Hamilton to reach this stage, his first in a ranking title since the 2006 Grand Prix.
Unfortunately for King he wasn't able to repeat the feat of fellow Essex pro Stuart Bingham by winning his maiden ranking title this year as he fell to a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester's Mark Selby.
A break of 60 gave Selby the opening frame and then he stole the second after King missed two chances to win on the pemultimate red. Selby then took the next two which were more scrappier affairs for a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval.
The fifth frame nearly went the way of King but played a bad positional shot on to the final level which left him blocked by the blue. Selby ultimately nicked the frame then completed the white-wash in the next frame with a run of 71.
This victory means that Selby has reached his third final in an international ranking event this year, first was again Mark Williams at the German Masters and the second was the China Open against Judd Trump. Unfortunately for him he lost both of these close encounters but he will be hoping it will be his week here in Shanghai.
"It was a strange match. I didn't score that well but I played solid and didn't make many mistakes," said double Masters champion Selby, who also won the Wuxi Classic in China earlier this season.
"Mark struggled and didn't capitalise on his chances, otherwise it could have been a different story.
"Whether I play Mark Williams or Neil Robertson tomorrow, it's going to be a tough game. I'll just try to enjoy it and give it my best."
King said: "I didn't sleep well last night so I was tired and I struggled. I had chances in most of the frames and if I could have just got one on the board it would have settled me down.
"Mark is a great player but he didn't have to play that well today and that's the disappointing thing. It's been a poor day but a good week and I can take a lot of positives out of it."
Player quotes; World Snooker
MARK WILLIAMS 6 - 5 NEIL ROBERTSON
On paper it was always going to be a tough one to call between the two former world champions Mark Williams and Neil Robertson but nobody expected the amounts of twists, turns and strange incidents that would happen in this match.
The first frame was a tense one between the two in which eventually Mark won, but the end of it was dominated by problems of balls drifting slightly to the left. It played on their minds for a while but eventually they got over it and it was sorted out in the mid-session interval.
Neil levelled the match with a break of 72, but then Mark dominated the proceedings in the next two matches with breaks of 100 and 52 to lead 3-1 going in to the mid-session interval.
The next frame turned out to be another long one as both players gave away close to 80 points in fouls between them including Neil missing a snooker escape on the green eight times. Mark then missed a tricky brown and Neil potted it and cleared to the black to steal it. Mark then took the next frame to lead 4-2.
Mark opened the next frame with a 58 break before missing a tricky red to the top corner. Neil then hit back with an excellent 74 clearence of his own to steal the frame. Mark once again made a mistake on a red in the next and Neil took his chance to win the frame.
Neil took the lead in the match for the first time with a 50 break to go 5-4 up. The next frame went down to the last few balls and after trapping Neil in a difficult snooker on the yellow, Mark made a brilliant clearance to force the decider.
In a tense deciding frame, Mark had the first chance but missed an easy pink to a centre pocket on 25. Neil had a chance to hit back but missed the blue after only scoring 7. He then made a vital error going for a long red without checking where the white would land and left an easy red on for Mark which he duly potted to win frame and match 6-5.
"I'm over the moon to be in the final," said 36-year-old Williams. "The conditions were difficult but I stuck in there and managed to nick the last two frames. I hope it's a good final tomorrow. Mark Selby and I have both won tournaments in China. I've always enjoyed playing here and I will give it 100 per cent as I always do."
Robertson, who had never previously got beyond the last 16 of a ranking event in China, said: "The match was there to be won. It's disappointing to have had a chance in the last and missed that blue. Then Mark missed the green but covered the reds which were over a pocket. Some days it's just not meant to be, and today was one of those.
"It's been a fantastic week and I look forward to more events in China because I feel a lot more comfortable playing here now."
Player quotes; World Snooker