Mark Selby became the first player to compile a Champion of Champions 147 after making the perfect break in his first round encounter with Neil Robertson on Thursday.
After the Englishman lost a scrappy opening frame to Robertson, he potted a long red and was immediately perfect on the black with the reds nicely spread.
The world number one proceeded to knock in the balls in relatively straightforward fashion and never found himself out of position once in what was one of the most simple but masterfully crafted maximums you’d wish to see.
After bumping into the pack of reds midway through the run, one went up beyond the baulk line, which was the only ball that threatened to derail his plan.
But Selby left himself deliberately high on the 14th black after coolly sinking the penultimate red with the rest and finished plum on the last red to erase the last major concern.
From there, the 35 year-old never looked like missing and duly mopped up the remaining colours for a third career 147 in professional play.
Selby, from Leicester and a big supporter of the football club, was hoping to win last week’s International Championship in tribute to the victims of the tragic helicopter clash that claimed the lives of five people, including the club’s Thai chairman.
Robertson was ironically the man to deny him in Daqing en route to an eventual defeat in the final in China but Selby’s Champion of Champions 147 break at the Ricoh Arena will surely help to make amends.
The only snag is – and certainly something that the organisers should look at for future editions of the invitational – Selby won’t receive anything for his fabulous effort because there isn’t even a high break prize on offer this week.
The three-time world champion faces the Australian in a short best of seven clash in Coventry, with either Mark Allen or Barry Hawkins the potential opponent in the last eight later today.
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