Mark Selby Defends Haining Open
Snooker News

Mark Selby Defends Haining Open

Mark Selby retained the Haining Open title on Saturday after a typical come-from-behind victory over Li Hang in the final in China.

Mark Selby Defends Haining Open
Selby compiled a 147 in last year’s final. Photo credit: World Snooker

The Haining Open isn’t a World Snooker sanctioned event, instead run by the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association, but has become an annual fixture on the calendar that many of the professionals from the Main Tour compete in.

It was once part of the Asian Tour series of minor ranking events but for the last three years it has been staged as a satellite pro-am tournament that features predominantly Chinese amateurs and a number of invited professionals.

Selby took the opportunity to get in some much needed match practice ahead of the World Open, the second ranking event of the campaign that gets under way on Monday in Yushan.

Success in the Haining Open last year certainly paid good dividends for the world number one as in 2017 he followed up that victory with a lucrative glory in the International Championship, so the 35 year-old will be hoping that lightning can strike twice.

At one point it looked as though Selby would have to settle for the runner-up prize on this occasion, but the master of brinkmanship produced one of his trademark fight backs to deny home competitor Li.

Trailing 4-1, Selby claimed the final four frames to seal the triumph in a decider and prolong his reign as the Haining Open champion, in doing so collecting the top prize of ¥120,000.

For Li, it marked his second disappointment in the title decider in three years after previously falling short at the last hurdle in 2016 when he narrowly lost in that edition to Matthew Selt.

Selt was one of seven professionals who made up the last eight, with China’s Ju Reti the only amateur player to advance that far.

Selby beat fellow Englishmen Gary Wilson and Mark King to book his place in the final, providing an ideal workout ahead of a potentially richer week ahead.

Click here to view the draw.

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