Selby Claims International Championship

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Mark Selby won the International Championship for the first time by thrashing Ding Junhui 10-1 in the final in Daqing, China.

Selby dominated the contest, winning the last seven frames in a row, in the most one-sided ranking event final since the 2012 Haikou World Open when Mark Allen beat Stephen Lee 10-1. Leicester’s Selby made seven breaks over 50 while China’s Ding managed a top run of just 47.

Selby collected a cheque for £125,000 after winning his third ranking title within six months, and ninth of his career, bringing him level with Peter Ebdon and John Parrott on the all-time list. The result also strengthens the 33-year-old’s grip on the world number one position which he has held for 20 consecutive months.

The most consistent player in the world, Selby has now won 47 of his last 56 matches on the professional tour.

Today’s match was a repeat of May’s World Championship final, which Selby won 18-14, and September’s Shanghai Masters final, when Ding gained a measure of revenge with a 10-6 success. This time, China’s top player was never in contention as his opponent controlled the contest.

Runs of 87 and 83 put Selby 2-0 up and he cleared the colours in frame three to extend his lead. Ding pulled one back by clearing from green to black in frame four, but he scored just 58 points in the next five frames as Selby stormed 8-1 ahead with top breaks of 67, 66 and 50.

And when they returned for the evening session there was no hint of a Ding fight-back, as Selby made a 62 clearance to win frame ten from 54-0 down, then sealed the result in the next with a run of 78.

“Ding is a fantastic player but he didn’t really play his game today,” said Selby. “That was down to me playing some good match snooker and not giving him many chances. I didn’t miss anything easy and I was happy with the way  stayed focused and I closed the match out. I’m really happy to get another ranking title under my belt.

“I’ve had a great start to the season and I’m really enjoying my snooker. Hopefully I can stay at the top of the rankings for as long as possible. There will be no time to celebrate this because I’ve got an early flight tomorrow to the China Championship in Guangzhou.

“The tournament here in Daqing is really well supported and the conditions are fantastic to play in. All of the players enjoy coming here.”

Ding missed out on what would have been the 13th ranking title of his career, and had to settle for the runner-up prize of £65,000. He said: “I hoped to turn the match around but I wasn’t playing well. I wasn’t concentrating on the match today so the result didn’t bother me much.”