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29 May 2024

Snooker: Selby masters Australia's Robertson

Mark Selby of England lines up a shot during the Masters final against Neil Robertson of Australia at Alexandra Palace on January 20, 2013 in London, England. (GETTY)


Mark Selby won a third Masters title as he beat defending champion Neil Robertson of Australia 10-6 in the final at London's Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

As a result world number one Selby, who last month won the UK Championship, put himself on course to take he sport's three major tournaments in the one season with the World Championship still to come.

"Every time we come out we play the one table session, every match feels like a final and we always get great crowds here in London," Selby, from Leicester, central England, told the BBC.

Robertson said of Selby: "He's a world-class player, world number one and very tough to beat. He's a very deserving winner."

In what was his fourth Masters final in six years, Selby raced into a 5-1 and then 8-3 lead, showing no ill effects after being on the table beyond midnight Saturday in seeing off Scotland's Graeme Dott 6-5 in a lengthy semi-final.

Only three players have successfully defended the Masters title and Robertson's bid to join an elite group comprising Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry and Paul Hunter suffered a series of early setbacks.

However, Robertson rallied to reduce Selby's lead to just two frames at 8-6, a sequence that saw the left-hander produce a well-constructed break of 83.

But Selby, the Masters champion in 2008 and 2010, was still in sight of the £175,000 ($277,000) winner's cheque.

The 15th frame then witnessed several drawn out safety exchanges before Robertson failed to make the blue safe.

Selby then produced a frame-clinching pot to stop Robertson's run and move to within a frame of victory at 9-6.

In the next Selby had the first chance and made a useful contribution but jawed a black only for Robertson to snooker himself on a subsequent black.

As the pressure mounted, both men missed pots before Selby produced an excellent shot off the cushion to sink a long-range red that put him 50 points in front and he then wrapped up the title shortly before midnight.

Victory saw Selby join Thorburn, Hendry, Hunter, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan in winning at least three Masters titles.