Mark Selby claims third Snooker World Championship title

Mark Selby claims third Snooker World Championship title

Mark Selby completed a remarkable turnaround to beat John Higgins and win his third Betfred World Championship title with an 18-15 victory in Sheffield.

Selby had trailed 10-4 at one point on Sunday but after pulling back three frames before the close of play he dominated on Monday.

"It's unbelievable, I can't believe it, I'm really still pinching myself," Selby said on BBC Two. "Big congratulations to John. From 10-4 to get out at 10-7 yesterday, I'd hit the wall, I had nothing left. He'd outplayed me most of the day, but today I came back a lot more fresh and played a lot better."

Selby admitted his main thought at 10-4 down was to go down fighting, but he would ultimately do a lot more.

"I was missing everything, I had nothing left. I thought, 'Just try to pull yourself together and find something, if you're going to go down, go down fighting'. Fortunately enough for me John missed a few balls you wouldn't expect him to and that gave me a chance to come back."

There was one potential wobble for Selby late on, however, as he looked to go 17-14 clear.

He had attempted to play a snooker behind the black but was ruled to have trickled up short by referee Jan Verhaas.

Verhaas briefly questioned his own decision, consulting Steve Davis and John Parrott in the BBC studio, but they and Brendan Moore - the referee on scoring duty - could not agree so Verhaas elected to stand by his original decision.

"I trust Jan," Selby said. "Jan said he didn't see it hit, he spoke to John and Steven and they saw it differently. John said, 'Do you want a replay?' which was kind of him. I had to get it out of my mind, you're in a world final at the end of the day. But congratulations to John. He's a great guy off the table and he's a great guy on the table."

Higgins, who had been seeking his fifth title, could only admire the way Selby kept his cool.

"He's granite, isn't he? Granite," he said. "In the second session I had my chances. There was a missed pink to the middle bag that could have made it 9-3. That might not be the difference but it was a big, big frame, and Mark did what he always does and cleared up under pressure. He's a fantastic champion.

"It's been an unbelievable tournament on the 40th anniversary. I gave everything and I've come up short to a great champion. I'm proud of myself but he was too good on the day."

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