Selby seals third Masters


Mark Selby was thrilled to clinch his third Betfair Masters title and claim back-to-back major victories after a neck injury left him fearing for his career.
The 29-year-old, winner in 2008 and 2010, claimed a 10-6 victory over defending champion Neil Robertson at Alexandra Palace in London to add the Masters title and the £175,000 first prize to last month’s UK Championship crown.
“It’s just unbelievable at the moment,” Selby said.
“At one stage I didn’t know whether I was going to be playing again and now I’m sitting here after winning the UK Championship in December and the Masters in January.
“The majority of the match I was really happy with the way I played.
“Going into today’s [Sunday] game I knew I had to play a lot better and score better and be a lot more attacking.
“I seemed to do that in the first session, to go 5-1 in front. Neil showed what a class player he is to come back to 5-3.
“Tonight it was the same again, how I started off this morning. I’m really happy.”
In the best-of-19 final, Australian top-seed Robertson responded from 8-3 down by taking three successive frames.
World number one Selby, though, was able to hold off the fightback and see out victory to join five others who had won the tournament three times or more.
The Jester from Leicester joined Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry, Paul Hunter, Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose presence on semi-final day ignited whispers of him launching a world title defence later this year.
After his £125,000 win in York in December, Selby became the first to win back-to-back majors since Mark Williams 10 years ago.
The midnight finish came after a late night with a 6-5 semi-final defeat of Graeme Dott.