Selby dethrones O'Sullivan

Selby dethrones O'Sullivan

Snooker World Championships

Selby dethrones O'Sullivan

English pro Mark Selby played the match of his career to stun defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and pocket his maiden World Snooker Championship title here on Monday.

The Leicester-based cueist triumphed 18-14 on a dramatic final day at the Crucible to become the new World No 1 as well.

O'Sullivan, looking for a third consecutive crown, appeared to be cruising when he led 8-3 and 10-5 on Sunday. But Selby rallied to 10-7 overnight, then won five of the six frames in the third session as O'Sullivan, uncharacteristically, crumbed under the intense pressure.

Selby produced his best snooker of the match in the concluding session, winning the last three frames and sealing victory with a stunning clearance.

Since reaching his first Crucible final in 2007 -- when he lost to John Higgins -- Selby has become one of snooker’s most consistent competitors, enjoying previous spells at the top of the rankings and winning the Masters three times as well as the UK Championship. The world title was the one glaring omission on his CV, but he now has his name engraved on the sport’s most famous piece of silverware.

Getting past Neil Robertson in a gruelling semifinal and and then stopping O’Sullivan from bagging his third successive World Snooker crown, Selby, 30, understandably is on cloud nine.  “To beat Ronnie in the final to win my first world title is a dream come true,” said an a delighted Selby.  An excited Selby, who got richer by 300,000 pounds, dedicated the triumph to his late father.

“My father died when I was 16, two months before I turned pro,” said an emotional Selby. “His last words to me were to win the world title. I promised him I would. So this is for him.”

Selby has now become the ninth player in snooker history to win the ‘triple crown’ of major titles,  joining Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, O'Sullivan, Mark Williams, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins and Robertson.