Selby WST Classic
Finals, Main News, Ranking

Mark Selby secures WST Classic title in Leicester

Mark Selby emerged as the WST Classic champion on Wednesday with a 6-2 victory over Pang Junxu.

The Jester produced a superb performance in a the title decider at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Back-to-back century breaks at the start of the contest helped Selby into an early 2-0 lead that he never relinquished.

Pang, featuring in a maiden final at this level, responded with a run of 75 to get on the scoreboard.

But after restoring his two-frame cushion, Selby moved further in front with a third ton – a contribution of 120 in the fifth frame.

The young Chinese competitor had needed all 16 frames to get past opponents Oliver Lines and Gary Wilson earlier on what was an exhausting final day.

Pang fought gallantly to keep the match alive against Selby and reduced the gap again to two behind.

However, Selby smelled victory, and after taking a scrappier seventh frame he secured the title with a break of 79.

Success represents the Englishman’s 22nd in ranking events, and it marks a second of this season following his previous glory in the English Open.

The 39 year-old overcame John Higgins in a battle of the four-time world champions in the quarter-finals.

His confidence clearly growing, Selby subsequently thrashed the in-form Ali Carter 5-0 with tallies of 138, 95, 89, and 65.

With the £80,000 WST Classic champion’s cheque in his back pocket, Selby will have high hopes for a strong finish to the 2022/23 campaign.

He will participate in next week’s prestigious eight-player Tour Championship ahead of the season-concluding World Championship in April.

For Pang, the 23 year-old is enjoying a rapid rise during the second half of this term and seems to be not far off a big breakthrough.

The former IBSF world under-21 runner-up reached his first ranking quarter-final at the German Masters before embarking on a run to the last four of the Players Championship.

He will be disappointed to miss out on the silverware here, but he is on the cusp of joining the top 32 in the world rankings for the first time.

Pang’s come-from-behind deciding-frame defeat of Wilson was disastrous for the latter, meanwhile.

As a result of the loss, Wilson misses out on the final Tour Championship spot to Ding Junhui by just £500.

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Jay Brannon

    A 38th career title for the great Selby. He’s won 19 of his last 21 ranking finals. One of those two losses was in the absurdly ranked Shootout.

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