Mark Selby marked his return to the top of the rankings by winning his biggest ranking title to date.
He defeated Shaun Murphy in the final by a relatively comfortable four frame margin. The match looked like going all the way after neither player could create a comfortable advantage in the early stages. The first session left the two men tied with four frames each and this carried over into the early periods of the evening session, where it soon became 6-6.
However, Mark Selby managed to reel off four straight frames to take home the title. Neither player was in great form with few high breaks made and both players possessed a strong tactical game which made the frames very tight.
Murphy will be disappointed he couldn’t recreate his semi-final form for the big occasion, where he managed to win five straight frames including a final frame decider against Ali Carter.
Mark Selby also didn’t have an easy tie in reaching the final, as he came from behind in multiple matches. He was trailing 3-0 against Ryan Day in his last 16 match. He was also out of sorts and trailing 4-0 to Neil Robertson in the quarters but somehow still managed to win 6-4.
Selby has proved to be a very persistent player after failing to win a major ranking event in the past. The UK championship and World Championship has never quite been in his reach until Sunday evening. He has also had injury problems this year with an injured neck which has admittedly affected his game.
He now boasts an impressive stature as two-time masters champion, one time UK Champion and world number one. He reclaimed the number one spot after winning his semi-final match against Mark Davis. He was previously knocked down by Judd Trump, but his reign at the top lasted just five weeks.
Selby was never at his best in the tournament but still came through with victory. Many critics would say that results in these circumstances are a sign of a great champion. He will now go on looking for plenty more big titles such as the masters in January, where he will be bidding to become three-time champion. Only four men in history have achieved that record, Cliff Thorburn, Steven Hendry, Paul Hunter and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Overall this year’s UK Championship has been a very exciting tournament. Many of the big guns went out early, meaning picking a winner was even harder to call.
After the tournament, Mark Williams has threatened to retire from the game after his poor form. He lost in the first round to Mark King.
Also this week, rumours are circulating that Ronnie O’Sullivan may return to the game in time to defend his World Championship title.