UK Championship 2016: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Marco Fu to set up Mark Selby final

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O'Sullivan beats Fu in nail-biting semi-final
UK Championship 2016
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 22 November - 4 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Connected TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and app. TV times and channels

Five-time winner Ronnie O'Sullivan will play Mark Selby in the UK Championship final after beating Marco Fu 6-5.

O'Sullivan, 40, had to battle to open up a 3-1 lead against Hong Kong's Fu, who responded with a century and breaks of 85 and 59 to level the match at 4-4.

Fu pinched the ninth frame on the black to go 5-4 up, but missed a costly green in the next and O'Sullivan won the decider with a break of 130.

World champion Selby, 33, advanced with a 6-2 win over Shaun Murphy in York.

He now has the opportunity to collect a second UK title and become just the sixth player to win snooker's two biggest events in the same year - the last was O'Sullivan in 2001.

O'Sullivan, who was far from at his fluent best, said: "I don't know how I held myself together - you just find something.

"I stayed focused and professional and did not beat myself up. I just had to grind it out and blag it.

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UK Championship 2016: The shot that 'robbed' Marco Fu of place in final

O'Sullivan has never lost a UK Championship final, and victory at the Barbican on Sunday would equal Steve Davis's record of six titles between 1980 and 1987.

"I will be the underdog going into the final for the first time in a long time," said O'Sullivan.

"I would rather be the favourite. I don't mind that pressure; I enjoy it but I will have to go out there and stay professional and patient."

Fu, the runner-up in 2008, said: "Ronnie was too good on the day. I put him under pressure but it was not good enough."

Selby is 'so difficult to crack'

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Selby defeats Murphy in thrilling semi-final

World number one Selby, who beat compatriot O'Sullivan to win his first world title in 2014, made breaks of 83, 58 and 55 against Murphy.

"I felt good out there," said the Leicester player. "I felt if I got a chance I was going to score. I got to 40 and 50 and then missed a silly shot.

"Whether I am the favourite or not, if I play my own game I am capable of winning. To get in the elite group of players of winning the World and UK in the same year would be great."

Despite starting well, Murphy's often loose tactical play and poor long potting allowed Selby to gain an advantage among the reds.

"I could not have started better and it was the best I felt all week, but the mistakes against Mark are magnified so much," said Murphy.

"If you don't kill him off, he has a way of getting himself back in the match. He is so difficult to crack."

World Snooker announced the Triple Crown event will remain at the Barbican until 2018 after agreeing a two-year contract extension.

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