Selby Wins Wuxi Classic

Mark Selby edged World Cup team-mate Ali Carter 9-7 to win the fourth annual Wuxi Classic in China today.

The world number 3 found himself behind in the match on only one occasion as he kept his English compatriot at bay for the majority of the contest.

Both Selby and Carter, who reached the final of World Championships in 2007 and 2008 respectively, approached their top gears in a match that included a flurry of high breaks throughout.

Two times Masters champion Selby opened up an early 3-1 advantage with breaks of 89 and 92 but runs of 90 and 72 ensured that Carter shared the first session with four frames apiece.

An 84 break in the opening exchange of the evening session offered Carter the lead for the first time in the clash as he sought to open this season as he did in the last campaign with his early triumph at the Shanghai Masters.

However, a string of unforced errors by ‘The Captain’ and a rise in performance from his opponent meant that the 31 year-old quickly found himself on the receiving end of four consecutive frame defeats.

This brought Selby to within one frame of victory but, as has been the case on many occasions before in finals, the 28 year-old struggled to make the leap across the winning line.

Carter raised his game once more and successive breaks of 94 and 99 made matters interesting with the deficit reduced to 8-7.

Yet, Selby steeled himself in the 16th frame and, after a lengthy safety exchange around the black spot area, he coolly knocked in a century break of 100 to claim the trophy in style.

It marks exactly twelve months since Selby’s last tournament victory which came during this weekend last year when he emerged victorious in the second Players Tour Championship event of 2010.

The defeat will be difficult to take for Carter who performed well all week but he will undoubtedly be pleased with his performance as the new season builds momentum.

The duo will now immediately fly off to Thailand for the revival of the Snooker World Cup which commences tomorrow and both will surely fancy their chances of winning the title for England this time next week.

Scotland, Wales and perhaps even China were ahead of England in terms of pre-tournament favourites but both Selby and Carter will have received huge confidence boosts in Wuxi and will prove dangerous opponents to dislodge in Bangkok.

For Selby, though, it was a fantastic individual performance from the Leicester man this week and he will be hoping this will be the beginning of a season were he can claim multiple titles.

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