Selby and Robertson To Contest China Final

The final of the 2013 China Open will be contested between Mark Selby and Neil Robertson, after the two came through against Shaun Murphy and Stephen Maguire respectively in today’s semi-finals.

Click below for a look ahead to the final, as well as the daily update as to how those results will affect the drawsheet for the 2013 World Championship…

  • Click here to view the updated tournament drawsheet
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings

First man through to tomorrow was world number one in waiting Mark Selby, after the Jester dominated his friend and rival Shaun Murphy to record a 6-2 win in the afternoon session. Having established an early 3-0 lead, Mark never really looked back and controlled the tactical exchanges on his way to victory.

Awaiting him in the final will be Neil Robertson, after the Australian dug deep to edge out Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in the day’s second semi-final.

It was Maguire who looked to be the stronger of the two for much of the match, leading both 4-2 and 5-4 as he looked to reach the final in Beijing for the second year in succession. Robertson though had other ideas, as he finished with breaks of 110 and 81 to progress and keep his hopes alive of a first major title in China.

Having seemingly gone forever without meeting each other in a ranking event on the professional circuit, Mark and Neil will now meet tomorrow for the third such occasion this season, in addition to their final at the Masters back in January.

On paper it is a difficult match to call, Selby having won their encounters at the UK Championship and Masters, while Robertson took their most recent match at the Haikou World Open earlier in the month.

From what I have seen of Neil Robertson over the last couple of days, he looks to be playing well, in truth as he has done for much of the season, while Selby looks to be coming into form at just the right time, arguably playing better this week than he did when he defeated Neil on his way to those major titles at the turn of the year.

For that reason, I will go with Mark to win tomorrow’s final and claim a fourth career ranking event title, though either way, both should head into the World Championship happy with the state of their respective games at the moment.

The World Championship Draw

Following the semi-finals, the potential drawsheet for the Crucible now looks like this:

O’Sullivan (1) v Carter (16)
Bingham (9) v Higgins (8)

Murphy (5) v Dott (12)
Stevens (13) v Robertson (4)

Trump (3) v Walden (14)
Williams (11) v Maguire (6)

Allen (7) v Ding (10)
Hawkins (15) v Selby (2)

For all of the various ifs and buts that we have seen over the past few days, the situation is now simple. The above draw (unchanged from yesterday), will be that for the Crucible, unless Neil Robertson is able to win tomorrow. If he can, then the Australian would leapfrog Judd Trump and switch places with him in the draw, meaning that Judd would move into Ronnie O’Sullivan’s half of the draw.