Today sees the first two quarter-finals of the Masters played to a conclusion as Mark Selby continues his title defence and John Higgins looks for title number three. Click below to read the reports…
Mark Selby 6-5 Mark Allen
Defending champion Mark Selby moved into the semi-finals of the Masters this afternoon with a dramatic final frame win over the brave Mark Allen.
In what was a fantastic match, sadly only witnessed live by 282 spectators, Mark Selby made the better start by moving into a 2-0 lead with breaks of 81 and 57, though Allen certainly had his chances. Indeed it was only a matter of time until he started to take them and brilliant breaks of 74 and 88 put him level at the interval.
Allen’s form was such that he would actually go on to win four in a row, adding runs of 34, 48 and 57 to leave the defending champion in all sorts of trouble. Mark though is no stranger to such a situation, particularly at Wembley where four of his previous five matches here went to deciding frames and responded in some style, an immaculate 92 break followed by his second century of the week of 120 to make it 4-4.
The next two frames saw another couple of centuries as almost inevitably the march lurched into a deciding frame, which proved to be an incredibly tense affair. It was Selby who had all of the clear cut chances but with each one that he failed to take, you just began to wonder whether he would live to regret it. Allen though, whose long-potting had until this point been excellent, just began to struggle and when Selby fluked a red into the right centre when escaping from a snooker, you just got the feeling that it would be his day and so it proved.
For Selby it is another great win here as him unbeaten Wembley record goes on, but Allen should not be too disappointed. He gave it a real go and showed again on the big stage why I think he will be a real contender for several years to come.
Mark Selby 6-5 Mark Allen 81(81c)-47(47), 84(57)-22, 0-75(74), 25-94(88), 50-77(34), 0-117(48,57), 92(92)-0, 123(120)-0, 4-129(104), 104(104)-0, 66(33)-0
John Higgins 6-4 Ding Junhui
Much like the earlier match, this one was an absolute cracker of the highest quality and saw twice Masters winner John Higgins move into another semi-final here.
More to follow.