Mark Selby has beaten China's Ding Junhui 18-14 in the final of the 2016 World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.
Selby won the 2014 World Championship by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final by the same 18-14 score-line. He came in to this year's event fresh, having dropped out of the Players Championship and China Open for personal reasons and that freshness may have helped him over the course of the 3 week long tournament.
Selby always had the upper-hand in the final and started impressively, taking the first 6 frames of the match before Ding came back to take the last two of the opening session to trail Selby 6-2.
Ding, who has become the first Asian player to make the World Championship final, had to qualify for this year's tournament in the preceding qualifiers held at Pond Forge in Sheffield but played great snooker and score heavily throughout the tournament; making 15 centuries.
Ding, after a poor start in the final managed to get himself back in to the match by winning the final session on day one 5-4 to trail Selby 10-7.
Selby moved in to a commanding 16-11 lead in the final day's play but Ding came back with the next 3 frames to get within two of Selby at 16-14. Selby went on to take the next two frames for the title, collecting the £330,000 first prize.
It's a great feeling, to win it once was a huge achievement, and something that I wanted to do, but I never dreamed of winning twice, I'm quite emotional.
The first time is always special, especially at the World Championship, the same when you win your first ranking tournament. And when you look at the people to have won it twice, to join that elite group is amazing.
I feel shattered. Last night I was so tired, to come out of that 10-7 up was huge because it was the first time I'd been ahead after the first day of the final.
Ding was under a lot of pressure, it was his first world final and there's massive expectation from China. I knew I had to capitalise early doors, every time I got a chance I punished him and scored. I missed a blue to go 7-0 up and if I had done that I might have won more easily. Ding showed class and came back to within a frame at times, but I managed to dig deep.
For a lot of this tournament my game has been average, whereas Ding has played great, the only bad session he had was in the first session in the final. I was second favourite, but here I am sitting here as world champion. I think it was just grit and determination; I never give in, no matter how badly I'm playing. Until that final ball is potted I still keep believing inside that I can win.
Ding collected £137,500 as the runner-up and also moved back in to the top 16 to number nine in the world after a great performance in Sheffield.
3 May 2016
I played well in the last session. The start was very bad, I went 6-0 down and I was too far away from Mark. He played good safety and he knows how to win frames. The match got harder but I enjoyed it more towards the end.
Five years ago I got to the semi-finals and now this year I have gone one step further. Maybe next time I'm going to win this. It's good experience for my career, I'm enjoyed the final and not many players have got to the final here.
This season I have been working with Terry Griffiths for the first time and I think I have improved. If I keep playing like this I can win more tournaments.
Mark Selby, last years winner is 9/2 to do it again this year!
John Higgins, runner-up last year, 14/1 to win this time!
Barry Hawkins, beaten semi-finalist last year, 33/1 to win!
Ding Junhui, beaten semi-finalist last year, 12/1 to win!
© Copyright 2017 Pitboss Gaming