Mark Selby won his first title of the season by beating Tom Ford 4-2 in the final of the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany.
Selby got the better of an all-Leicester final to cement his position as world number one and collect his first trophy since winning the World Championship in May.
It’s an eighth career ranking title for 33-year-old Selby, who earned the top prize of 25,000 Euros at the tournament in Fürth.
Selby failed to get beyond the last 32 of his first two events of the season but went all the way this time by winning seven consecutive matches.
In the final, he took the opening frame with a break of 85 then world number 40 Ford, who was aiming for his first ranking title, won the second. Frame three came down to the colours and Selby nicked it by potting pink and black.
Ford’s run of 67 made it 2-2, but Selby regained the lead with a break of 72 before clinching victory in frame six with a run of 58.
“It’s always great to win a tournament and I can take a lot of confidence from it,” said Selby, who also won the Paul Hunter Classic in 2011 and 2012. “It wasn’t a good final, Tom missed a few balls. It’s difficult to play a close friend – we have known each other many years and played at the same club as juniors. His safety was as good as mine but I took my chances a bit better than he did and that was the difference.
“It’s always a great tournament here in Germany with fantastic crowds.”
Ford added: “I’m disappointed by the way I played in the final because I had been scoring heavily all week but it wasn’t there today.”
In the semi-finals, Ford beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-2 while Selby saw off Dominic Dale by the same scoreline.
Other highlights of the tournament included Thailand’s Un-Nooh making a 147 on Saturday, the first maximum of his career and worth a £40,000 bonus, as well as veteran Jimmy White reaching the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time in 12 years before his run was ended by Dale.
Results (Last 16 onwards)
Mark Davis 4-3 Liam Highfield
Mark Selby 4-2 Sam Baird
Jimmy White 4-2 Michael White
Dominic Dale 4-1 Yan Bingtao
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-3 Mark Allen
David Grace 4-0 Robbie Williams
Jamie Jones 4-0 Gerard Greene
Tom Ford 4-1 Zack Richardson
Selby 4-1 Davis
Dale 4-2 White
Un-Nooh 4-3 Grace
Ford 4-1 Jones
Selby 4-2 Dale
Ford 4-2 Un-Nooh
Selby 4-2 Ford