Mark Selby beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7 in a thrilling final to win the UK Championship for the second time.
In a sensational evening session in York, Selby scored three centuries in the final six frames of the match, with O’Sullivan hitting two of his own.
Five-time winner O’Sullivan fought back from 7-2 down to trail 8-7.
But Selby, 33, rose to the challenge to become only the sixth player to secure the World Championship and UK titles in the same calendar year.
His victory means he has twice completed the ‘triple crown’ of UK Championship, Masters and World Championship.
“To play Ronnie in any game is always a great atmosphere and gives you a buzz,” said Selby.
“I had to be on the top of my game, and if I had only played at 60% then I wouldn’t have won. It’s a great feeling.”
- Relive the phenomenal final – text and video highlights
- Scores and full tournament results
- O’Sullivan to face Liang at 2017 Masters
Selby joins the greats
The world number one, who as champion collects £170,000 in prize money, joins an illustrious list of players – O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Higgins and John Parrott – to hold both the World and UK titles in the same year.
Selby also ended O’Sullivan’s 100% record in UK Championship finals.
The match was effectively won in the first session as Selby, renowned for his resolute style of play, won frames lasting 33 and 48 minutes in pulling four clear at the interval.
He compiled 489 points to O’Sullivan’s 50 in taking six frames in a row to lead 7-2 after the first frame of the evening session.
Selby was pushed hard by his fellow Englishman, as O’Sullivan closed to within a frame, but breaks of 137, 130 and 107 helped him secure a second UK title to follow his first in 2012.
Early errors cost O’Sullivan
O’Sullivan missed the chance not only to equal Davis’ haul of six UK titles, but also to move above Davis and Higgins into second in the all-time ranking winners’ list behind Hendry.
It was his third defeat in the final of a major event this season, following losses against Judd Trump at the European Masters and Higgins at the Champion of Champions.
Despite a blistering opening frame and further tons in the second session – taking his total of career centuries past 850 – O’Sullivan made uncharacteristic errors in the opening session that ultimately cost him the match.
He produced breaks of 56, 80, 134, 130 and 82 in the second session to reduce the deficit to 8-7 but the 40-year-old could make no further inroads against an inspired Selby.
“I just want to say well done to Mark. He played fantastic and he deserved it,” said O’Sullivan.
“I missed too many easy balls, but I think I did all right considering he’s world number one and so far ahead of everyone else.”
Those final six frames
Frame 12 – 134 break – O’Sullivan
Frame 13 – 137 break – Selby
Frame 14 – 130 break – O’Sullivan
Frame 15 – 82 break – O’Sullivan
Frame 16 – 134 break – Selby
Frame 17 – 107 break – Selby
Analysis – ‘Snooker from the gods’
Six-time world champion Steve Davis on BBC Two: “While it’s difficult to judge eras, I think Selby is one of the greats already. If he doesn’t know how great he is, he should just watch the tape of that match.”
Former world champion John Parrott on BBC Two: “That was one of the finest games of snooker I’ve ever seen. The evening session really was snooker from the gods. Everything about that match from both players was just stupendous. It’s going to be hard to top a final like that this season. It really was that great.”
Former world champion Shaun Murphy on Twitter: “Anyone watching the snooker has witnessed the bar being raised. Practice table for the rest of us! Congrats to @markjesterselby #history.”
Two-time World Open champion Mark Allen on Twitter: “I wonder do these guys know they’re playing for the UK Championship?! The standard is absolutely ridiculous. Just sit back and enjoy as a neutral.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) 7-10 Mark Selby (Eng)
138-0 (124), 41-71, 63-0 (63), 8-103 (67), 0-82 (63), 32-52, 1-109 (58 51), 0-128 (87), 9-65 (56), 144-0 (56 80), 50-36, 134-0 (134), 0-137 (137), 130-0 (130), 82-0 (82), 1-134 (134), 5-118 (107)
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