Mark Selby has fought back to establish a 9-7 advantage over Ding Junhui after the second session of their Betfred World Championship semi-final.
The defending champion had trailed Ding 5-3 after the first session of what is a repeat of last year’s final. China’s number one was the more fluent among the balls yesterday, but this morning’s session owed more to the strategic side of the game. That suited Selby – one of the greatest tacticians in the sport.
The world number one was playing with a new tip this morning. However, you wouldn’t have noticed in the opening frame of the day. After winning a safety exchange, Selby stepped in to compile a run of 100 to move to one behind at 5-4. There was a 41-minute frame ten which Selby snatched on the black to restore parity. The Jester claimed the following two frames, which included a run of 67, to ensure a clean sweep of the frames going into the mid-session. He’d turned the match on it’s head to lead 7-5.
Ding looked far more composed when the pair returned after their break. He put together a run of 84 to register his first frame of the day.
The game began to open up more and Selby reacted by compiling an 85 break to restore his two-frame advantage. There was then a stunning contribution of 139 from the 12-time ranking winner Ding, but the Jester from Leicester pinched the final frame of the day to emerge 9-7 in front. They will resume this evening at 7pm.