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Gilbert Beats Selby In Berlin Thriller

Gilbert pots the final black as Selby looks on. All pictures by O.Behrendt / contrast

David Gilbert won a 54-minute deciding frame on the final black to beat Mark Selby 5-4 at the German Masters.

Gilbert goes through to meet Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals on Friday evening in Berlin.

Selby maintains his grip on the world number one spot he has held since winning this title in 2015, though second placed Mark Williams is sure to gain ground this week.

Breaks of 83, 68 and 126 gave Selby a 3-1 lead today, despite Gilbert’s 139 in the second frame. After the interval, Yushan World Open finalist Gilbert took three in a row with top runs of 78 and 85. Selby won the eighth to set up a tense decider, which came down to the colours.

Selby potted a long yellow but then missed a difficult green to a centre pocket when leading 54-37. Gilbert converted an excellent mid-range pot on the green and cleared the table to book his place in the next round.

Robertson needed just 77 minutes to beat Stuart Bingham 5-0 with top breaks of 75, 100 and 104.

Duane Jones kept his best career run going as he beat Yuan Sijun 5-3. Welshman Jones had never previously been beyond the last 32 of a ranking event but is now through to the last eight to face Ding Junhui.

Jones made breaks of 138 and 79 to go 3-1 ahead before Yuan, who knocked out John Higgins yesterday, recovered to 3-3. Jones, age 25, took the last two frames with 73 and 60. That result keeps alive his chances of qualifying for next week’s Coral World Grand Prix as he needs to win the tournament to earn a place in Cheltenham. For more on that race click here.

“I have played really well all week,” said Jones. “I have been practising all the hours under the sun and I’m glad I have got some reward for it. When you put so much effort in and get no reward it is demoralising and it makes you want to give up. It’s nice to show a crowd that I can play. I’m over the moon with the way I am playing. I’m on a freeroll now but I am here to win. The money will hopefully help me to stay on the tour because I don’t want to have to go back to Q School.”

Ding edged out Xiao Guodong 5-4 in a high quality Chinese derby. Ding, who won this event in 2014, made breaks of 74, 128 and 57 in building a 4-1 lead, then Xiao got back to 4-4 with top runs of 102 and 75. The decider went Ding’s way thanks to a break of 68.