Mark Selby won a crucial final game with Matthew Selt 2-1 to earn his place in the second phase of the WST Pro Series in Milton Keynes.
The pair came into the last match knowing that the winner would be assured of progression. Selt knew defeat would definitely end his hopes of a top two place.
They were locked level at 1-1, after a century run of 142 from Selby followed by a contribution of 75 by Selt. The deciding frame lasted 30 minutes, but eventually three-time World Champion Selby emphatically clinched it with a break of 83, ensuring he topped the group.
Selby won six from seven matches throughout the day, scoring victories against Daniel Womersley, Lukas Kleckers, Eden Sharav, Stuart Carrington and Joe O’Connor, as well as his defeat of Selt. His only loss came 2-0 at the hands of Iranian Soheil Vahedi, who was pipped to second place.
Vahedi faced Carrington in the final match where, following Selby’s win, the victor was set to seal second spot. It was Carrington who held his nerve to secure a 2-0 win and progress to the second phase. Today’s success continues a fine run of form for world number 51 Carrington, who reached the semi-finals at the recent Gibraltar Open.
Selby said: “Best of three is cut-throat, anybody can go through. To finish top of the group is pleasing. More pleasing that I felt like I played well today. I scored ok when I got my chances, I had a couple of 140 breaks. That was the main thing for me, to find a bit of form.
“It’s a crazy format, because I went into that last game having won five out of six and I still might not have ended up in the top two. It’s tough, but it is what it is. It’s the same for everyone and it is nice to get through to the next group.”
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The action continues on Monday from 10am with World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan among the players in action. The first phase concludes on March 16th.
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Click here for the detailed format of play
Fans around the world can watch the event on the Matchroom.Live website – for details click here.