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
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Fantasy Premier League: Invest in Arsenal to climb the ranks in Gameweek 23
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...