Mark Williams holds the lead after the first session of the Cazoo British Open final in Cheltenham, but Mark Selby battled back to end just 5-3 behind.
It’s the fifth time Williams and Selby have faced off in a final, having won two apiece. It’s Selby who leads the overall head-to-head record between the pair 13-11.
Williams is gunning for a third British Open title, he most recently won the event in 2021 after beating Gary Wilson in the final. Selby is yet to win the British Open and is bidding to claim a title in an ITV event for the first time in his career.
The opening frame saw 24-time ranking event winner Williams crucially steal on the black to move 1-0 ahead. He carried over that momentum to make breaks of 110 and 55 to lead 3-0, before Selby took the fourth to head into the interval 3-1 behind.
When play resumed Williams hammered home his advantage with runs of 74 and 133 to make it 5-1. However, 22-time ranking event winner Selby showed his class with contributions of 98 and 73 to end 5-3.
They return tonight at 7pm, when the best of 19 encounter will be played to a conclusion. The winner will take home £100,000 and the Clive Everton Trophy.