Snooker News

Mark Selby and Ding Junhui in Shanghai Masters Final

Mark Selby and Ding Junhui will meet in the final of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

Selby Ding World 11

Selby is seeking successive ranking event titles – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos

Their clash marks the pair’s first meeting since their epic showdown for the World Championship in May, which Leicester’s Selby emerged victorious in 18-14.

Selby once again lived up to his master of brinkmanship title as he came from 5-3 down to deny Stuart Bingham in a semi-final decider on Saturday.

The 33 year-old led 3-1 but sat and watched as his opponent reeled off runs of 67, 123, 72 and 87 to go to within one of a place in the final.

Bingham had an early chance in the ninth frame but rattled a straight forward enough blue to allow Selby in to grind out the comeback.

Ding, meanwhile, was also behind in his encounter with Stephen Maguire before taking control of the contest.

The Chinese favourite trailed 3-2 but reeled off four on the trot for a crowd pleasing success which sets up a highly intriguing rematch of the Crucible finale.

Aside from their Sheffield encounter, Selby and Ding are the two in-form players currently after each collecting trophies in the last month.

Selby was triumphant in the Paul Hunter Classic at the tail end of August while Ding landed the 6 Red World Championship crown a couple of weeks ago in Thailand.

Both are gunning for their second Shanghai Masters titles but it’ll be Ding who will naturally boast the most support in front of his legion of fans in China.

The duo’s head-to-head record is relatively balanced but Selby, apart from their big World Championship final, has had the better of their recent meetings since Ding’s last ranking event victory over the Englishman in 2012.

That, ironically, came in another final at the Welsh Open when Ding got the better of Selby 9-6 in Newport.

Over the best of 19 frames in Sunday’s final, it’ll be interesting to see how the first session goes, remembering of course how Selby raced into an insurmountable 6-0 advantage at the Crucible this year.

Elsewhere, the conclusion of what was an otherwise very positive week for Maguire meant that the Scot narrowly failed to qualify for the new lucrative China Championship, the final spot on the one year ranking list instead going to Michael Holt.

The final of the Shanghai Masters takes place tomorrow with live coverage on Eurosport.

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