Selby Storms Back To Take German Masters Title

Selby1At 5-2 down earlier this afternoon, Mark Selby looked to be all at sea but tonight he leaves Berlin as the 2015 German Masters champion following a 9-7 victory against Shaun Murphy, avenging his defeat to the Magician at last month’s Masters.

Mark takes home the top prize of €80,000, which is also enough to see him reclaim the world number one spot for the first time since December…

  • Click here to view the final results from Berlin
  • Click here to view the updated rankings
  • Click here to view the new latest projected seedings list

It always had the look of being a close final between two friends and rivals and so it proved, as the momentum swung back and forth between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy throughout the day.

It was Selby who made the stronger start, taking two of the opening three frames this afternoon with runs of 53 and 44, while his in-form opponent struggled to repeat the barrage of scoring that he had shown throughout his previous matches this week.

That was soon to change however as he hit back to back centuries of 130 and 118 either side of the mid-session interval, before adding the next two to lead 5-2 and guarantee himself a lead heading into the evening session.

Selby though was not to give in and crucially dug deep to steal the final frame of the session, ensuring that he would trail by just two frames rather than four as that action resumed at 7pm.SelbyMurphy

Following a terrific introduction from the enthusiastic crowd, the pattern of the early frames proved to be similar as Murphy earned the early chances, but he was unable to take advantage, as Selby took all four frames prior to the final interval, to complete a five-frame winning streak and lead 7-5 with a possible five frames to play.

It is not the first time that Murphy has lost a run of frames this week in Berlin and again he showed great character to stop the rot in frame 13 with a break of 80, albeit assisted by a mid-frame fluke, before he took a tense 14th frame on the black to draw level again at 7-7.

From there however, Selby was to move one away from the match following a decisive 25 clearance in the next frame, before he added an initially re-racked 16th with runs of 51 and 30 to seal the title.

For Selby the result means that he returns to world number one for the sixth time in his career and the first time since the UK Championship in December, but far more importantly it represents his return to winning ways since his world title success last May and also the birth of daughter Sofia back in November.

Of course he was always going to return to the winning circle at some stage, but it will be a boost to his confidence to have done so now, well in advance of the defence of his world title in a couple of months time.


The title also represents his fifth ranking event success in total, bringing him level with runner-up Murphy, who saw his recent winning streak come to an end at the Tempodrom. Although he will be disappointed, it has been another terrific week for the player nicknamed the Magician as he came through thrilling matches against Mark Allen, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Liang Wenbo, despite poor head to head records against the latter two and underlined just how well he has been playing during the past six months.

A couple of years ago Shaun found it difficult when at the business end of tournaments up against players at the very top of the world rankings, but ever since that win in Gdynia last year and in particular this season since he won back to back European Tour events in the Autumn, he has established himself as one of the men to beat at the sport’s biggest events.

All in all it has been an excellent tournament, with the crowd continuing to support the event in numbers as they have done since its inception back in 2011 and some thrilling matches throughout the week. In particular, the evening quarter-final session on Friday will live in the memory as one of the single best sessions of snooker for many a year, not least for Judd Trump’s brilliant 147 against Mark Selby.

For me, the decision to reduce the amount of tables at the venue and bring just 32 players to Berlin has been proven to be the correct one, while it has also been refreshing to see Eurosport take out a team of Colin Murray, Ronnie O’Sullivam Jimmy White and Neal Foulds to cover the tournament on site, which has added an extra something to those of us watching at home. Hopefully this will not prove to be a one-off, although it is difficult to imagine them taking a team out to the events in China any time soon.

Next stop, Crondon Park for the climax of this season’s Championship League tomorrow, before four days of qualifying action get underway on Thursday at the Barnsley Metrodome, with places at the venues in India and China next month up for grabs.