Mark Selby’s 13-7 win over Mark Allen at the Betfred World Championship means that there will be six former Crucible kings in the quarter-finals for the first time.
Selby pulled away from 8-6 to win five of the last six frames against Allen and book a place in the last eight in Sheffield for the ninth time. Next he will face Mark Williams, both three-time champions, while former winners Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson are also in a tremendous quarter-final draw:
Stuart Bingham v Anthony McGill
Mark Williams v Mark Selby
Neil Robertson v Kyren Wilson
Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy
Picking up where he left off in a 10-1 thumping of Kurt Maflin in round one, world number four Selby once again looked in full control against 13th seed Allen. He made three centuries and nine more breaks over 50 while outmanoeuvring his opponent on the tactical front. Having won two ranking titles this season as well as reaching at least the semi-finals of four others, Selby has self-belief in abundance as he looks to add to the titles he won in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
The Leicester cueman won the first frame of the concluding session to go 10-6 ahead. Allen trailed 55-22 in frame 17 when he knocked in a long red and cleared with 50 to keep his hopes alive. the Northern Irishman had a similar chance in the next from 59-5 behind, but missed the brown to a baulk corner which handed Selby the chance to go 11-7 up.
That ended Allen’s resistance as Selby made a 132 to move to the verge of victory then dominated frame 20 to finish the contest.
“I started off playing as well as I did in the first round,” said 37-year-old Selby. “My scoring was good. I knew if I wasn’t on top of my game I would have been going home. If you are making breaks over 50 every frame you won’t lose many.
“It’s an incredible line-up, probably the strongest for many years. It will be tough to win it, so if I managed to do that it would have to be up there with my best achievements. I’m looking forward to playing Mark. I get on well with him, he’s a great lad and a fantastic player. Hopefully it will be a good game for the fans.”
Allen said: “I thought I was in with a chance at 8-6. The last frame yesterday was important because 9-6 was hard to come back from. Mark’s safety throughout the whole match was some of the best I have ever seen. He is granite.”