2015 World Championship (Day 1) - Selby overcomes snooker thriller

02:24:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The first day of the Betfred.com World Championship and a late night drama kept us wide awake as current world champion Mark Selby faced the wonderful Kurt Maflin in a match that will surely be remembered by most of us.

After a thrilling and top class display of snooker the lads found themselves playing the deciding frame, the last redoubt, the last frontier. And after a nerve-racking final frame, Selby got the victory, 10-9.

It all started nice and peaceful around 10am (UK time) with a more-than-focused Mark Selby. He seemed to scream on the top of his lungs that the Crucible curse doesn't stand a chance with him.

Runs of 84 and 44 were opening the scoreline for the Jester while a perfect 96 was delivered from the Norwegian-acclimatised Maflin.

Frame three also meant the first century break of the tournament (108) signed by the world number one, but Kurt wasn't intimidated and responded with breaks of 60 and 37 for a perfect 2-2.

Still, by the end of the first session, Selby proved to be in full control of the match's faith. Breaks of 53 and 69 were winning the recent China Open champion frame five and six, while the seventh was conquered on a dramatic re-spotted black.

Kurt managed to pull back a frame with a solid 88, but Selby was sure to end the first snooker encounter with mini-breaks of 20 and 30 for a 6-3 advantage.

When the lads returned in the arena later on, it all smelled like deja-vu. Mark stormed in and grabbed one more frame with a top break of 48 to go just three frames away from a place in the Last 16.

Kurt fought back, but when Selby recorded his second century break of the match (124) to go 8-4 up, there wasn't much hope left. Or was it?

Maflin's granite snooker proved us wrong as he fired in breaks of 47 and 51 to draw level and a 43 to put his nose in front 9-8! And please rest assured that these five frame that Kurt won in a row where no piece of cake!

Still, the Leicester player didn't give in and won a thrilling 18th frame to force the decider ... and what a decider it was going to be!

A perfect balanced display of safety shots, snookers, tactical play and stunning pots were part of the final equation that Selby successfully managed to resolve with a top break of 43.

The victory was so sweet that he punched the air and roared in front of a standing audience. If there was any doubt left of how much it matters to him.

It's really a shame that one of the two had to lose in the end. At one point it was like watching two twin brothers play against each other. That's how good this match was.

John Higgins and Robert Milkins disputed their first session, with the Scottish player in the driving seat, 6-3.

Higgins practically took off with breaks of 41, 72 and 64 to go 3-0 up before his opponent won his first frame of the day with a top break of 43.

After the interval Higgins was sure to re-assure his leading position with runs of 62 and 48 for 5-1, but the Milkman started to deliver and pulled back two consecutive frames.

Still, a missed pink with the rest down on 58 during frame nine, proved quite costly for Robert as his Scottish rival clinched the frame with runs of 28 and 39 to go 6-3 up.

Also ended on a 6-3 scoreline was the match that was taking place just over the wall, Anthony McGill performing quite an impressive show of snooker over his fellow country-man Stephen Maguire.

Top breaks of 92, 53 and 53 were enough to overcome Maguire's 62 break from frame two and set the scoreline at 3-1 up in favour of his opponent.

Despite the fact that Maguire went bananas (on his own typical way) at one point, he did manage to produce solid outcomes of 73 and 86 and pull back two frames, but Ants got the best of the remaining frames and is entering into the final session with a considerable lead.

Marco Fu versus Jimmy Robertson' s first session match finished on a 5-4 scoreline in favour of the Hong Kong's cue-man, while Graeme Dott performed the same treatment on Ricky Walden.

Interestingly enough, both Graeme and Jimmy had a 147 attempt during their matches, but sadly enough the Scotsman missed a red with the rest on 72, while Jimmy stopped his break at 80.

More snooker is to come our way this Sunday, so please be sure to clear your schedule.
For constant updates and random thoughts please join me on Twitter or for the full report here, at the end of the day.

Marco Fu v. Jimmy Robertson (5-4)
Barry Hawkins v. Matthew Selt

Ricky Walden v. Graeme Dott (4-5)
Neil Robertson v. Jamie Jones

Stephen Maguire v. Anthony McGill (3-6)
John Higgins v. Robert Milkins (6-3)

*all hours are UK time