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World Snooker Championship 2021

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Post by Duty281 Sat 17 Apr 2021, 10:06 am

First topic message reminder :

1st Round Draw:

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) vs Mark Joyce
Ricky Walden vs Anthony McGill (16)
Ding Junhui (9) vs Stuart Bingham
Jamie Jones vs Stephen Maguire (8)

John Higgins (5) vs Tian Pengfei
Sam Craigie vs Mark Williams (12)
Mark Allen (13) vs Lyu Haotian
Kurt Maflin vs Mark Selby (4)

Neil Robertson (3) vs Liang Wenbo
Ali Carter vs Jack Lisowski (14)
Barry Hawkins (11) vs Matthew Selt
Gary Wilson vs Kyren Wilson (6)

Shaun Murphy (7) vs Mark Davis
Martin Gould vs Yan Bingtao (10)
David Gilbert (15) vs Chris Wakelin
Liam Highfield vs Judd Trump (2)

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 2:10 pm

Taste of his own medicine here for Selby 😂

Selby 12-9 Murphy

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 2:51 pm

That 19th frame was so crucial. Anyway, four frames to go, Murphy needs a minimum of three of them. He's still struggling with getting in and winning the frame in one visit.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 3:31 pm

Selby 13-10 Murphy


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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 03 May 2021, 3:47 pm

Two enormous frames coming up to end the session now. If Murphy can win both, he's right back in it and will be the much happier man with how this afternoon has gone. If Selby wins them both it's pretty much all over.

Absolutely imperative Murphy gets at least one of them.
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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 4:03 pm

Murphy starting to heat up now. Things getting interesting....

Selby 13-11 Murphy

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 4:07 pm

At 13-9, I was starting to think Murphy was 'gone'. He then hit an average break shot, Selby potted the red, but missed the follow-up green. That missed green could be pivotal, as Murphy immediately went on to clean up in one visit (at last!) to make it 13-10, then he played stylishly to get it back to 13-11. Game back on.

Come on, Murphy, take this last one and make it a thriller.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 4:23 pm

14-11

All the hard work Murphy has done, but still three behind.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 4:31 pm

A middling session, that one. Selby not quite reaching an insurmountable lead, but Murphy not hauling himself back into realistic contention.

No margin or time for error tonight, Murphy must be fast out of the trap and take the opening two frames. Fast, aggressive snooker from the outset, try to rattle Selby, if he is to have any hope. Murphy must keep backing himself to land those long pots.

Selby hasn't, bar the final stretch of yesterday evening, looked entirely comfortable in this final - I don't think he has showed his ruthless best - so I don't rule Murphy out entirely. But if Murphy does counter-attack and win from 11-14, it'll be up there with the finest final comebacks.

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Post by B.A. BARACUS Mon 03 May 2021, 5:20 pm

Looking increasingly like the Pie Man has let this match slip through his fingers. His long potting to get into the frames has been fantastic, however his inability to convert these chances into frames on the board is very disappointing.

Selby is not playing near his best and yet he retains a 3 frame advantage going into the final session.

For all his slow play and bore fest style of snooker, you have to give credit to selby for his grit and determination, his ability to grind his opponents down, force a mistake and then clear up is remarkable.

Once he gets a break going, he just looks like he's not going to miss, murphy on the other hand, is almost predictable in his frustrating habit of breaking down when in the balls.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 7:31 pm

15-11

Murphy punished for missing an easy pink

This one’s done

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 7:33 pm

I feel as though I've seen that frame before, maybe half a dozen times. Murphy gets in, misses, Selby mops it up. The story of the final.

Selby started off pretty edgy, so Murphy missing that pink was pretty unforgivable.

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 03 May 2021, 7:37 pm

Unfortunately I wasn't surprised that Murphy missed that pink. It's been a bit part of this match - he's lost so many frames when he's been in control or had a good chance in the balls.

In a four-session match you're always going to get two or three frames like that, especially against Selby, but there's probably been about half a dozen of them here and that's why it's looking pretty much over barring a miracle.

Selby though, what a competitor and all-round player. He's probably only been at around 70% of his peak or best form throughout this match but appears to be cruising to another victory. If you can't compete with him in the grind and tactical department (and aside from maybe Higgins, nobody can) then you need to be ruthless with your scoring chances. Murphy can be, but he hasn't been in this match.
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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 7:51 pm

16-12

Won’t be long now

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 8:06 pm

Was a good break from Murphy to make it 15-12, but Selby's hit back convincingly.

We're in miracle-needed territory now. Murphy has to win 6 from 7.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 8:35 pm

16-13

Back within three

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 8:45 pm

One monumental effort required, one big heave, like in the semi-final against Wilson. Selby still looks a bit jittery, so he may bottle it entirely if Murphy can find a ruthless run to finish off the tournament. If!

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 9:15 pm

Since the middle of the second session, you never felt Murphy was ever really in this. Selby wins the tactical battle in frame 30, and makes it 17-13

Start the car

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 9:20 pm

That was a top, top century.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 9:33 pm

Duty281 wrote:That was a top, top century.

Murphy’s wasn’t bad, either

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 9:50 pm

17-15

He couldn’t, could he?

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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 9:53 pm

Selby really missed that red by a distance. Another phenomenal century for Murphy, better than the last.

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Post by Just John Mon 03 May 2021, 10:10 pm

Shame for it to end like that

18-15

Selby x4 Champion

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 03 May 2021, 10:22 pm

Felt like Murphy lost that as much as Selby won it. He was in first in so many frames but couldn't string together any sequence of frame winning breaks.

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 03 May 2021, 10:26 pm

Good fight from Murphy at the end, but he just left himself way too much to do. Had his chances over the course of the match, especially in the first and early stages of the final session. No real complaints, he lost to the better player.

That's four world titles in eight seasons for Selby - in the Crucible era only Davis and Hendry have racked up a better winning rate over the same period. Given the competition he's faced that's something very special.

Not one for the snooker romantics but he's an astonishing player - his intelligence, his tactical play, his ability to win frames from behind or in one visit, his focus and attitude. He's got everything in there.

By far the most consistent player throughout this tournament - absolutely dominant in his first three matches and gutted it out from the semi finals onwards.
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Post by Duty281 Mon 03 May 2021, 10:26 pm

All or nothing on that tough red. Didn't drop for Murphy, alas. Feel the run of balls favoured Selby, overall, through this final, so not surprised it didn't drop. Had he dropped it, I'd have backed Murphy to win because Selby was wobbling all over the shop, both technically and mentally.

Murphy will feel this was a great chance missed. Selby well below his best, arguably there for the taking, but Murphy spurned far too many opportunities - particularly on frames 3, 19, 25 and the 33rd and final one.

Selby was outstanding against Allen and Williams, bored Bingham and the watching millions into a coma, and did just enough to overcome Murphy. He was strangely edgy in this final, shot selection seemed awry on a few occasions, and he was far removed from his usual cold, ruthless best.

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue 04 May 2021, 8:55 am

Selby winning four titles does put into some context that the current era isn't all it's made out to be, the fact he's the only top player with any semblance of a tactical game isn't a glowing endorsement of the overall quality. A lot is made of the number of centuries scored nowadays but a matching winning contribution of 80 is no different to scoring 120 for instance.

1985- 22 50+ scores
2021- 23 50+ scores

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 04 May 2021, 9:27 am

Congratulations to Mark Selby becoming a four times world champion. Once he wrestled control of the match in the second session he never let Shaun Murphy back in. Good fight put up by Murphy towards the end and it would have been interesting if Murphy could have pocketed that last frame to make it 17-16 but he came up short. Its been a great tournament for him though propelling him back into the contenders bracket after a period of struggles. The question is:- How many world titles can Selby go on on to win?
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Post by Just John Tue 04 May 2021, 9:42 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:The question is:- How many world titles can Selby go on on to win?

I think Selby has got at least two more titles in him.

Next year though, I’m hoping for a final between two attacking heavyweights. I just found this year to be too tactical, slow, and quite painful for long periods.

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 04 May 2021, 10:15 am

I think Selby can definitely win a fifth title before he's done. His B-game is the best in the business and that's the key to winning tournaments consistently, especially over the longer match format. A lot can change in a short space of time in any sport, so it's hard to say what he could manage beyond that as he's already had a long career with plenty of miles on the clock, but I'd be surprised if this was his last Crucible win.

Mentally he's absolutely granite. I think every time Murphy won a frame and made his theatrical gestures and fist pumps to the crowd to try and turn the pressure up on him, and you thought it might be a turning point, Selby went on to win the following frame on every occasion and quickly pour cold water all over the flames.

I think he's similar to Djokovic in tennis in that respect. Has stopped worrying about not being all that liked by some fans and doesn't particularly bother trying to pander to the crowd anymore, and instead feeds off that animosity towards him and gets motivation from it. I actually admire that part of Selby's game and mindset albeit as I mentioned a couple of days back, I think he went a bit over the top with it against Bingham and came across as a bit whiny and childish.
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Post by Duty281 Tue 04 May 2021, 1:03 pm

Would agree that Selby's absolute granite. Since (and including) the 2014 World Final, Selby's appeared in 19 ranking finals and won 17 of them...one of the two he lost was the hit-and-giggle Snooker Shoot-Out event, so perhaps fair to say he's only lost one actual proper final event in that time!

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 04 May 2021, 7:05 pm

Interesting comments from Murphy in the aftermath of the final, which will put the cat amongst the pigeons for a few people. He says that, having seen them in action and playing both of them several times apiece, he thinks that Selby has surpassed John Higgins (and Davis, as the guy who was often credited as such previously) as the best match player or most complete all-rounder the game has seen.

“In my opinion, having just gone toe-to-toe with him for two days, I’ve got him down as the best all-rounder we’ve ever seen. He’s just granite in all areas – he’s a scorer, a potter, and his long potting was sensational yesterday. For me, he’s the best all-rounder we’ve ever seen. John Higgins was classed as the best all-rounder but for me, Mark Selby is better. He’s got more patience, he’s willing to wait longer, he plays cleverer shots and is just granite."

I know not everybody cares for the 'best match player / all-rounder' title, because what does that matter if there's a guy who beats you more often than not and wins more world titles than you, regardless of them being less 'complete' (Hendry in the case of Davis, O'Sullivan in the case of Higgins). Appears a slight misnomer or whatever. But nevertheless, the point has to be considered now.

I think Higgins is probably a world title short of what he should have won in his career, possibly even two. I can't see him ever winning at the Crucible again (although I was thinking the same back in 2014-16 too, and then he surprised me with those three finals in a row) and it's likely that Selby might just edge ahead of him in world titles when all is said and done.

Have been looking at some online reaction and have even stumbled across pockets of fans saying that Selby warrants serious consideration as the greatest of all time overall, not just in match play....Don't see that argument getting off the ground on here though!
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 05 May 2021, 8:18 am

88Chris05 wrote:Interesting comments from Murphy in the aftermath of the final, which will put the cat amongst the pigeons for a few people. He says that, having seen them in action and playing both of them several times apiece, he thinks that Selby has surpassed John Higgins (and Davis, as the guy who was often credited as such previously) as the best match player or most complete all-rounder the game has seen.

“In my opinion, having just gone toe-to-toe with him for two days, I’ve got him down as the best all-rounder we’ve ever seen. He’s just granite in all areas – he’s a scorer, a potter, and his long potting was sensational yesterday. For me, he’s the best all-rounder we’ve ever seen. John Higgins was classed as the best all-rounder but for me, Mark Selby is better. He’s got more patience, he’s willing to wait longer, he plays cleverer shots and is just granite."

I know not everybody cares for the 'best match player / all-rounder' title, because what does that matter if there's a guy who beats you more often than not and wins more world titles than you, regardless of them being less 'complete' (Hendry in the case of Davis, O'Sullivan in the case of Higgins). Appears a slight misnomer or whatever. But nevertheless, the point has to be considered now.

I think Higgins is probably a world title short of what he should have won in his career, possibly even two. I can't see him ever winning at the Crucible again (although I was thinking the same back in 2014-16 too, and then he surprised me with those three finals in a row) and it's likely that Selby might just edge ahead of him in world titles when all is said and done.

Have been looking at some online reaction and have even stumbled across pockets of fans saying that Selby warrants serious consideration as the greatest of all time overall, not just in match play....Don't see that argument getting off the ground on here though!

I'd say it is far more likely that Selby wins, say, two more world titles than Higgins wins another world title. In fact I am pretty sure Hendry said a couple of weeks back that he has always thought his world titles record is more likely to be surpassed by Selby than O'Sullivan. Higgins, for me, now has concentration issues where he can miss shots out of the blue which he used to gobble up for breakfast. O'Sullivan could win another world title or two but I thing that depends on a few factors such as the draw he gets and how soon he can get those titles as his concentration will begin to wane too. Selby is that bit younger at 37 so time is on his side.
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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 05 May 2021, 8:21 am

Higgins was the best match player in the world when O'Sullivan, Hendry and Williams were his main rivals not to mention Ken Doherty, bit of a step up on class to Trump and co today.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 05 May 2021, 8:54 am

Soul Requiem wrote:Higgins was the best match player in the world when O'Sullivan, Hendry and Williams were his main rivals not to mention Ken Doherty, bit of a step up on class to Trump and co today.

Yes I definitely see what you are saying and there is much merit in that. Some would argue that you still have Ronnie around now, some would point to Trump being a force in the game due to his multiple titles this year and others saying Williams is perhaps in the form of his life (debateable).
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Post by No name Bertie Wed 05 May 2021, 3:57 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
88Chris05 wrote:... Murphy ... thinks that Selby has surpassed John Higgins (and Davis, as the guy who was often credited as such previously) as the best match player or most complete all-rounder the game has seen.

“... He’s granite in all areas – he’s a scorer, a potter, and his long potting was sensational yesterday ... He’s got more patience, he’s willing to wait longer, he plays cleverer shots and is just granite."

... the point has to be considered now.

I think Higgins is probably a world title short of what he should have won in his career, possibly even two ... it's likely that Selby might just edge ahead of him in world titles when all is said and done.

I'd say it is far more likely that Selby wins, say, two more world titles than Higgins wins another world title. In fact I am pretty sure Hendry said a couple of weeks back that he has always thought his world titles record is more likely to be surpassed by Selby than O'Sullivan. Higgins, for me, now has concentration issues ... O'Sullivan could win another world title or two but ... Selby is that bit younger at 37 so time is on his side.

Given Selby's style of play maybe he will be able to maintain his form better into middle age than others.  Someone mentioned of 19 finals he had reached he had won 17 of them and one of those he lost was a non-serious tournament.  It suggests perhaps as he gets older his main difficulty will be getting to finals rather than winning them.   So it is not beyond the realms of impossibility that we could in future be seeing him winning finals into his fifties ... assuming he was able to reach the finals.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 05 May 2021, 5:04 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
88Chris05 wrote:... Murphy ... thinks that Selby has surpassed John Higgins (and Davis, as the guy who was often credited as such previously) as the best match player or most complete all-rounder the game has seen.

“... He’s granite in all areas – he’s a scorer, a potter, and his long potting was sensational yesterday ... He’s got more patience, he’s willing to wait longer, he plays cleverer shots and is just granite."

... the point has to be considered now.

I think Higgins is probably a world title short of what he should have won in his career, possibly even two ... it's likely that Selby might just edge ahead of him in world titles when all is said and done.

I'd say it is far more likely that Selby wins, say, two more world titles than Higgins wins another world title. In fact I am pretty sure Hendry said a couple of weeks back that he has always thought his world titles record is more likely to be surpassed by Selby than O'Sullivan. Higgins, for me, now has concentration issues ... O'Sullivan could win another world title or two but ... Selby is that bit younger at 37 so time is on his side.

Given Selby's style of play maybe he will be able to maintain his form better into middle age than others.  Someone mentioned of 19 finals he had reached he had won 17 of them and one of those he lost was a non-serious tournament.  It suggests perhaps as he gets older his main difficulty will be getting to finals rather than winning them.   So it is not beyond the realms of impossibility that we could in future be seeing him winning finals into his fifties ... assuming he was able to reach the finals.

For sure. One thing worth taking note of - he is the most dominant snooker player since the days of Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry. Steve Davis won six world titles in eight years, Hendry won seven world titles in nine years and Selby has won four world titles in seven years.
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Post by 88Chris05 Wed 05 May 2021, 6:04 pm

The strange thing with Selby is that, a bit like Harry Kane in football, he was never seen as a particularly big talent at the beginning of his career and his development into a top player began at considerably later stage than most other greats. But once that development began it proceeded at an alarming pace.

I've heard plenty of commentators or former / current players, McManus and John Higgins in particular, say that their first impressions of Selby when they started encountering him in tournaments or practice was that he was bang average - just a bit of a nothing player who they thought would simply trundle along as a middling pro for years without ever making a big splash. People talk about Murphy's world title in 2005 coming out of the blue, which it did overall, but even then for the previous couple of years it had been well established that most involved in the game saw him as a huge talent who would go on to have a big future, and who should have already been knocking on the door of big titles before he eventually did.

None of that with Selby. He was no teen whizz kid like Hendry, O'Sullivan and Higgins, or even the likes of Hunter, Stevens and Trump. He was almost 24 when he had that unexpected run to the final out of nowhere in 2007, and it's as if something just sparked inside him after that. Within the next nine months he made the UK semis losing a decider to O'Sullivan, and then swept the Masters and Welsh Open for his first ranking event back-to-back getting revenge on O'Sullivan along the way. In less than a year he went from looking like a relative journeyman to one of the three or four best players in the world consistently, and a probable world champion.

Even then, though, nobody would have predicted this. Not quite the Class of '92, but he, Murphy and Robertson were all born within about eighteen months of each other and all emerged as viable tournament winners within the span of a couple of years, too. In fact they got to the world title before him. Even after Selby established himself as a top player, at the time most people (me included) would have predicted that the three of them would end up with broadly similar careers and were quite evenly-matched.

He's absolutely blown the pair of them out of the water these past few years, though. Robertson might have won a similar amount of titles overall but his Crucible record is a shadow of Selby's.
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Post by Duty281 Thu 06 May 2021, 12:17 am

88Chris05 wrote:Have been looking at some online reaction and have even stumbled across pockets of fans saying that Selby warrants serious consideration as the greatest of all time overall, not just in match play....Don't see that argument getting off the ground on here though!

If he maintains this level for another five or so years, adds a couple more world titles, then absolutely he gets in that discussion. For now, though, I'd still put him behind the quartet of Higgins, Davis, Hendry and Ronnie.

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