Monday, 21 January 2013

Déjà vu win for Mark Selby


Mark Selby - the 2013 Masters champion
It's become almost a custom to write pieces about Mark Selby's victories and what a shock! Here's another one, this time about his magnificent performance of dethroning defending champion Neil Robertson of keeping his Masters crown for one more year.

The scoreline says it all, 10-6. It was a pretty one-sided final, played on a very calm note, no "Thunder" being heard although Robertson tried his best to overcome the deficient of being led 5-3, then 8-3.
Still, in the end, it was Mark Selby, the player who didn’t have the most brilliant performance throughout the tournament, but managed to channel all his energy on the most important game: the grand final.

Many of you remember the semi-final played against Graeme Dott and how painful it was to watch it, the Scottish player himself declaring after the match that Selby's game "bored him to death".

However, on Sunday a new player emerged, a good night sleep surely doing the trick and allowing the "Jester from Leicester" to laugh in front of all of those who didn't give him enough credit.

Neil Robertson didn't manage to defend his crown
With runs of 73, a brilliant 102 and an 84 we has launching into a journey that would bring him the third Masters title of his career. All this time, on the opposite corner, an out-of-sorts Robertson was trying to cope with the fact that he was out of his form for no apparent reason, although, unlike his opponent, he had one of the most exquisite performance during the entire competition.

The first session ended with Selby in change of the situation at 5-3, though the fact that the Australian capitalized the last of the remaining two frames was bringing hope for the session to come.

Still, the situation didn’t change much and just like that (aka. breaks of 67, 23, 24 and 41) Selby was moving two frames away from the victory line, at 8-3.

Not many would have dared to try a comeback, but Neil did. And he almost got it. Runs of 74, 83 and 26 were bringing the Aussie three frames in a row, and a bit of confidence for more.

However, it was a bit too late and Selby wasn't going to let all that hard work going to waste. The last two frames were scrappy affairs, but the Englishman grabbed the bull by its horns and ended the match at 10-6.

Selby and his lovely wife Vikki
An ecstatic audience, that’s actually been there supporting the players all week long, was up on its feet to congratulate the man who just entered an elite group of players who won the Masters title more than two times: Hendry, O'Sullivan, Hunter.

Getting his third Masters trophy (after the ones conquered in 2008 and 2010), an overwhelmed Selby got a huge hug and a big kiss from his wife Vikki, a presence that always puts a smile on everyone's face.

So, within a few weeks from winning the UK Championship and getting on board of the victory ship in Germany with the Munich Open, Selby does it again. Is this the start of a series of victories that wants to conclude with the World Championship fancy trophy being lifted at the Crucible in May?

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