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Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Mark Selby shocks Ronnie O'Sullivan at Masters final

Mark Selby

Video - Selby wins Masters final frame thriller

Mark Selby produced a phenomenal fightback to seal his second Masters title following an enthralling 10-9 win against Ronnie O'Sullivan at Wembley.

Defending champion O'Sullivan took early control with a 4-1 lead in the afternoon session, but Selby fought back to reduce the lead to 5-3.

The 34-year-old once again extended his lead to 9-6 in the evening session.

But Selby responded magnificently by claiming the next four frames to lift his second title in three years.

The victory avenged Selby's defeat by O'Sullivan in last year's final and adds to his triumph in 2008, when he defeated Stephen Lee 10-3 at Wembley Arena.

Having equalled Stephen Hendry's record of nine Masters final appearances, O'Sullivan looked destined to claim his fifth title with the comfort of a three-frame cushion going into the 16th frame.


But Selby - nicknamed the "Jester from Leicester" - maintained his composure despite the vocal support for crowd favourite O'Sullivan.

Breaks of 62 and 109 reduced the deficit to one frame before levelling the scores in a tense 18th.

And he sealed a remarkable victory when O'Sullivan conceded the frame when faced with snookers.

"That's the best final I've ever been in," the 26-year-old told BBC Sport following his victory.

"The atmosphere is great when Ronnie O'Sullivan plays. I just dug in and thought I would just scrap it out.

"I love the atmosphere and seem to thrive on it. Hopefully this will kick-start my season."

Three-time world champion O'Sullivan admitted he had been beaten by the better player.

"He played well, and deserved win. I never got a look in the last four frames," he conceded.

"I didn't expect to get to the final - I ain't too disappointed."

Although O'Sullivan admitted a loss of confidence at different stages on his passage to Sunday's final, he made an assured start to the best-of-19 frame decider.

Mark Selby

Video - Selby elated after epic final

Breaks of 122 and 101 helped O'Sullivan open up a 4-1 lead.

But the world number one's momentum was halted as Selby fired breaks of 83 and 112 to keep reduce the deficit to two frames at the end of the afternoon interval.

Both players walked into a tumultuous reception in the evening session, with Dutch referee Jan Verhaas pleading for calm as O'Sullivan broke to begin the ninth frame.

The next six frames saw Selby claim the odd-numbered frames, with O'Sullivan responding by winning the evens in an intriguing passage of play.

O'Sullivan made the decisive breakthrough in the 15th frame with a break of 91 to take a 9-6 lead, just one frame away from lifting the trophy for the second successive year.

Despite the audible support for O'Sullivan, Selby maintained his composure, returning to the table to rack up two successive frame-winning breaks of 62 and 109 to once again cut the deficit to 9-8.

Selby looked set to take the match to the 19th and decisive frame following a break of 45, but missed a straightforward red with the frame at his mercy.

A superb safety from O'Sullivan - purposely playing a touching ball into the jaws of the top-left pocket - saw Selby twice miss, but a gamble on a tight green 14 points in the lead backfired as his opponent cleaned up to set up an enthralling decider.

Selby opened up with an outrageous long red from O'Sullivan's break, setting the tone for the rest of the frame to clinch one of the most memorable finals in Masters history.

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see also
Selby sets up O'Sullivan rematch
17 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan edges Williams in epic
16 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Snooker finds its X Factor
19 Jan 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan reclaims Masters crown
19 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Masters 2010 - Full results
16 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan too strong for Ebdon
14 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan overhauls Robertson
12 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Murphy ousts Hendry in thriller
11 Jan 10 |  Snooker
White 'sickened' by Masters exit
11 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan hails Hearn influence
09 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Ding defeats Higgins in UK final
14 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Video - Selby elated after epic final
18 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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