China's Ding becomes first Asian to reach world snooker final

Ding Junhui in action during the first round. (Action Images)

China's Ding Junhui became the first Asian player to reach the world snooker championship final after beating Scotland's Alan McManus 17-11 in Sheffield, England on Saturday.

Ding, the world number 17, compiled seven century breaks in the match to set a world championship record and will play England's world number one Mark Selby in the best of 35-frame final, which starts on Sunday.

Selby beat Marco Fu of Hong Kong 17-15 in a gripping semi-final which included the longest frame in world championship history at the Crucible lasting over 76 minutes.

"I wanted to make the final but I feel normal. The tournament hasn't finished yet," Ding told reporters.

"I want to keep focused. Last season and this season, I didn't play good but in March and April I started to play well."

Ding, 29, is a former world number one who claimed five ranking titles in 2013-14 to equal the record set by seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry.

The 32-year-old Selby, who won the title in 2014, struggled for form during the match but posted a century break in the final session before seeing off the 38-year-old Fu, who was playing in his second world semi-final and first since 2006.