World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby wins fourth Crucible title with victory in Sheffield | Snooker News

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Mark Selby emulates John Higgins as a four-time world snooker champion following his latest victory in front of a capacity crowd at the Crucible to add to his wins in 2014, 2016 and 2017; the 37-year-old from Leicester defeats 2005 champion Shaun Murphy 18-15

Last Updated: 03/05/21 11:54pm

Mark Selby joined John Higgins as a four-time world snooker champion following his latest victory at the Crucible in Sheffield

Mark Selby joined John Higgins as a four-time world snooker champion following his latest victory at the Crucible in Sheffield

Mark Selby became a four-time world snooker champion in front of a capacity crowd at the Crucible in Sheffield after defeating Shaun Murphy 18-15 in a thrilling final on Monday.

Selby successfully preserved his three-frame lead over Murphy at the end of the penultimate session of their final to go 14-11 in front.

When they returned for the conclusion of their best-of-35 battle on Monday evening, Selby maintained his advantage despite a late fightback from ‘The Magician’ before punching the air after sinking the final black under immense pressure in a thrilling conclusion after 17 days of action to become the fifth player to win four Crucible titles.

Selby, who also won the title in 2014, 2016 and 2017, ended a four-year wait to gets his hands on famous old trophy while he collected a cool £500,000 in the process.

Selby is closing in on Ronnie O'Sullivan, Steve Davis and Ray Reardon as six-time winners of the tournament

Selby is closing in on Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis and Ray Reardon as six-time winners of the tournament

“Absolutely incredible – every time you get to a world final you always try your hardest because it’s such a tough tournament to get there and you never know if it’s going to be your last or not,” said Selby.

“Shaun’s played fantastic all the way through the match and he’s a great player and ambassador for the game and it’s great to see [him] back.

“A few years ago I had some really, really dark days and times were tough, obviously all the family will understand what I’m going through, so this has been a special one.”

Selby’s win moved him back up to No 2 in the world rankings, behind Judd Trump, and he added: “My aim is to try and get back to number one, you still have massive goals in your career and I’m going in the right direction.”

Multiple Crucible winners

3 Mark Williams 2000, 2003, 2018
4 Mark Selby 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021
4 John Higgins 1998, 2007, 2009, 2011
6 Ronnie O’Sullivan 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020
6 Steve Davis 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989
7 Stephen Hendry 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999

The Leicester potter proved too strong for 'The Magician' in front of a capacity crowd

The Leicester potter proved too strong for ‘The Magician’ in front of a capacity crowd

Playing in front of a sell-out crowd – the first at a UK sporting event since the coronavirus pandemic hit more than a year ago – Murphy began with a spectacular long red, only to then fluff the simplest of pinks to the middle, leaving Selby to fire a 66 and move within three frames of victory at 15-11.

The pair split the two subsequent frames, then a brave 58 from Murphy sent him in for the final mid-session interval still harbouring a glimmer of hope at 16-13.

Selby had other ideas, delivering his second century of the final with a faultless 120 to move within one frame of victory.

However, Murphy threatened one final twist as he responded with back-to-back century breaks of 100 and 103 to reduce the deficit to 17-15 and raise the prospect of a remarkable fightback.

Murphy came close to taking another after Selby broke down on a break of 38 in the next, but a difficult red down the cushion proved a step too far, and Selby duly cleared up under immense pressure to seal the win.

Murphy was looking to win his first Crucible title since 2005

Murphy was looking to win his first Crucible title since 2005

Murphy, 38, paid tribute to Selby, telling the BBC: “He’s just super-granite. Unfortunately for me, I’ve known him since we were nine years of age and he’s always been the same.

“I started the match well and he just went into super-hard mode and broke me last night – it was a tough lead to give him overnight in a match of this calibre and it probably made the difference.”

He added that playing in front of a capacity crowd at snooker’s iconic venue had been extra special.

“Sport is nothing without fans and we’ve been thrilled to have everyone back and a full house tonight.”

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