Masters 2017: Mark Selby and Barry Hawkins progress to quarters

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Selby 'Triple Crown' bid survives scare
Dafabet Masters 2017
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 15-22 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Connected TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and app.

World and UK champion Mark Selby began his Masters campaign with a thrilling final-frame 6-5 win over Mark Williams.

Selby, the world number one, made breaks of 139, 109 and 62 to lead 3-1, but Williams hit back to level, before the pair shared the next two frames.

Three-time winner Selby snatched a tactical ninth frame, Williams forced a decider, but a kick on the blue allowed Selby in for a 89 clearance.

In the last-eight, Selby faces Barry Hawkins, who thrashed Shaun Murphy 6-1.

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Hawkins thrashes Murphy to make quarters

Hawkins made 89 and 79 as he punished Murphy's errors to take the first four frames, and a 85 put him one away from victory.

Murphy pulled one back, but opponent Hawkins - who was trounced 10-1 by Ronnie O'Sullivan in last year's final, made 50 to progress.

Leicester's Selby won the UK Championship title last month to go with his triumph at the Crucible in May and is now bidding to become only the fifth player to hold all three BBC titles at the same time.

Ironically, opponent Williams is the last player to achieve the feat in 2003, and the Welshman had a chance to oust Selby in the first round at Alexandra Palace but for an unfortunate kick while on 20 in the 11th frame.

"If I am playing the blue, I would punch it in to take the kick out of the equation," Selby told BBC Sport. "But Williams rolls them in and he has won things that way so why does he need to change?

"He did not win frames in one visit but he is such a clever player. He shut me out for a little while.

"Coming here, winning all three tournaments has been on my mind. It is such a tough tournament to win but it will be better if I just go out and play."

The invitational tournament sees only the top 16 players in the world compete and Selby's win was the fourth match to be won on a decider after Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Allen and Marco Fu all held their nerve to progress.

Analysis

1991 world champion John Parrott on BBC Two:

"What an unbelievable match. I feel so sorry for Mark Williams. There is no worse way than to lose on a kick, it is a horrible way to lose.

"After that, Mark Selby showed why he is the world number one."

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