Snooker: Mark Selby surges to first UK crown as Shaun Murphy stalls
The York Barbican
Monday 10 December 2012
Mark Selby clinched his first UK Championship title last night after a dominant display in the evening session took him to a 10-6 victory over Shaun Murphy in the final.
The pair resumed locked at 4-4 after the opening afternoon session, but it was Selby who took advantage in the concluding session as breaks of 58, 46 and 98 helped him edge ahead.
Murphy, a UK winner in 2008, struggled to produce his best form as he tried to end a four-year wait for a major ranking title. But the Manchester-based professional was left needing to win four of the next five frames for victory and his second UK crown and it proved beyond him, Selby, the world No 1, taking the next two frames to cruise home.
Meanwhile, Steve Davis, the six-time world champion, is convinced he and seven-time Crucible winner Stephen Hendry would have struggled to dominate in the current era.
Davis, still playing aged 55, is second on the all-time winner's list with an impressive 28 ranking titles. Perthshire potter Hendry still tops the pile with a staggering 36 ranking crowns, a feat which Davis is sure will never be bettered.
But even Davis admits he and Hendry would have struggled to dominate against the likes of Murphy and Selby. "It's an incredibly crowded marketplace of very good players now," said Davis.
"If you picked up a Shaun Murphy or a Mark Selby and transported them back into a time machine into the 1980s, they would have won more. You wouldn't have been able to move for them being in the finals of big events, the standard was not as strong.
"Even in the 1990s, no disrespect to Stephen Hendry, but there is no way he would have had it so much his own way with a Murphy or a Selby around. For both Stephen in his decade and me in mine, we just wouldn't have had as much breathing space to dominate.
"If I had played now, began my career in this current era, there is absolutely no way I would have won 28 ranking titles, and Stephen wouldn't have won 36. I'm not trying to put down our achievements, but it just wouldn't have happened."
Teenage sensation Luca Brecel, aged 17, sparkled in York last week and rising star Judd Trump looks set to be around for a long time to come. "I refuse to believe that the standard hasn't increased all the time," added Davis. "I'm just very thankful looking at what has happened to the game that I was ahead of my era, and Stephen was ahead of his."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Brendan Rodgers future: Odds shorten on Liverpool manager being sacked, despite Jurgen Klopp announcement
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
- 4 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 5 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced creative web and...
£17000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity is now ...
£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...
£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...