Higgins takes surprise lead over Selby in world snooker final

01 May, 2017, 19:31 | Author: Essie Rivera

"On this performance I think Mark Selby is the favorite to win the title", he said.

John Higgins won five frames in a row to take a 6-2 lead over 2016 champion Mark Selby after the first session of the World Championship final.

"If he wins another one he'll be equalling O'Sullivan, trying to create a bit of history himself". But few in the Far East would have enjoyed the sight of Selby doing what he does best: dominating when in a low gear.

Higgins - a four-time Crucible champion - came into this match as the underdog against last year's victor, but a fourth-frame break of 141 sparked a period of control that put daylight between the two players.

English world number one Selby reached the showpiece for the third time in four years by holding off Ding Junhui 17-15 in a gripping encounter.

A fist-pump showed Selby, despite his three-frame deficit, was the more satisfied man, but he can not afford another slow start when the match resumes.

But one red was as good as it got as a missed blue let 41-year-old Higgins in again and he cleared with 95.

"After that tournament I told him, "I know you're disappointed but don't be because you're definitely going to come back and win this thing", Higgins recalled.

Ding was always behind, ever since conceding a 5-3 advantage early in the contest, and Selby proved a formidable opponent in his defence of the title he won 12 months ago.

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"The adrenaline was pumping and I can not wait for the final".

That was far from realistic, as Higgins showed by rattling in a century to wrap up the match, leaving Hawkins to reflect on a torrid third session - where he lost six of the eight on offer.

Griffiths, the 1979 world champion, is also working with Ding, whose semi-final against Selby was set to resume in the afternoon.

Higgins was, however, quietly confident of his own chances, saying: "I m very proud to be in my sixth world final, and it s a great feeling to be going for my fifth world title". "I feel absolutely fine".

"I wasn't surprised when I won the world title in 1978 and got to the final at 49 four years later - although others were".

"It's roles reversed", Higgins said.

"There was a point during that match where I felt like just smashing the reds everywhere but that is not me - I was that close to doing it but I thought it was disrespectful to John".

The best of 35 finals resumes at 2pm with Higgins, 41, who beat Selby in the 2007 final, aiming to become the oldest victor since 45-year-old Welshman Ray Reardon triumphed in 1978. I'll be better for next year.

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