World Snooker Championship: Mark Selby leads Ding Junhui in final

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Highlights: High drama at the Crucible
2016 World Snooker Championship final
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 1-2 May Sessions: 14:00 & 19:00 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.

World number one Mark Selby held off Ding Junhui's fightback to lead 10-7 after a marathon first day of the best-of-35 World Championship final.

The Englishman took advantage of a nervous Ding to open up a 6-0 lead, before Ding pulled two back.

China's Ding had breaks of 103, 89 and 86 in the second session, as well as taking a 66-minute 15th frame.

But Selby, the 2014 champion, won the last two as play ended at 00:24 BST after a tactical 49-minute final frame.

The final resumes at 14:00 BST on Monday, with the last session due to start at 19:00.

Mark Selby
Selby closed his eyes during the final frame as tiredness took its toll

Demolition session

Leicester's Selby, competing in his third final, looked fresh despite a late semi-final finish against Marco Fu on Saturday, and took advantage of Ding's edginess early on.

Having not shown his best snooker in the tournament, the 32-year-old signalled his intention with breaks of 91, 76, 70 and 120 to surge ahead.

However, his opponent - playing in his first Crucible final - won the seventh and eighth frames to stay in touch.

Ding mistakes gift Selby 4-0 lead

Ding's reprieve

Overseas winners
Ireland's Ken Doherty, Australia's Neil Robertson and Canada's Cliff Thorburn are the only players from outside Britain to have won the World Championship.

Ding, 29, had to come through three qualifying matches to qualify for the main draw after slipping to 17th in the world rankings.

He is bidding to become only the third qualifier after Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005 to lift the trophy, and the first Asian world champion.

Selby looked like he might run away with the final when he won the first frame of the second session, but he suffered an unfortunate miscue when in amongst the reds in the next.

That gave Ding a reprieve as he jumped out of his seat to make a counter-attacking 76 break.

He followed it up with a century, his 13th of the tournament, and a cool 89 under pressure to reduce the deficit to 7-5.

Ding grabbed two of the next three, including the marathon 15th frame to go 8-7 behind, but it seemed to take a lot out of him.

Selby, who was clearly struggling with tiredness, pinched the final two frames of the session, punching the table and raising his cue in delight on his way to finally bringing the session to a conclusion.


Mark Selby
Selby had to come through a late finish to his semi-final match on Saturday

Six-time world champion Steve Davis: "There were two warriors out there today. When you require one or two snookers you've got to go for them, but the standard of safety play was astonishing and a frame can go on a long time. Nobody is giving an inch. Ding looked as fresh as anything.

1991 champion John Parrott: "Mark Selby has got tremendous stamina. It was a phenomenal performance. His eyes are so tired, he's absolutely gone, but he keeps finding something."

1997 champion Ken Doherty: Mark Selby has shown incredible resolve and mental strength. It looked like Ding was closing to within one frame or even possibly levelling the match, but he came back very strongly despite his tiredness."

Frame scores (Selby first):

125-8 (91), 70-68 (52), 101-43 (76), 124-0 (120), 100-0 (70), 77-38, 47-68, 14-107, 73-22, 30-92 (76), 1-103 (103), 49-93 (89), 71-1, 0-86 (86), 52-82 (55), 86-25, 67-27

How the players match up

Selby v Ding head to head
Head-to-head statistics going into the final

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