Selby, Robertson into snooker China Open final

2013-03-30 22:18:11 GMT2013-03-31 06:18:11(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Mark Selby and Neil Robertson set up a final clash for the 85,000 pound top prize at snooker China Open here on Saturday.

First-round exits of home favorite Ding Junhui, world No. 1 Judd Trump and John Higgins caused the season's penultimate world ranking event a lot of surprises. However four of the world top seven featuring in the semifinals ensured the quality of the match.

Selby, who is set to regain the world No.1 ranking from Trump next week, got better of Shaun Murphy in a scrappy semifinal as neither of them made centuries, while world No. 3 Robertson came from behind to defeat last year's runner-up Stephen Maguire 6-5.

The first three frames all went to Selby, then Murphy pulled one back with a 35 clearance. Selby took the next two frames with top breaks of 63 and 49. Murphy saved one match point in the best of 11 by winning the fragmented seventh frame.

In frame eight, Selby established a 66-0 lead with 67 left on the table, Murphy's fight-back was stopped after Selby knocked the last red to take the last frame 72-32.

"It's not an easy victory, I was lucky because I didn't make mistakes in the first two frames," said Selby.

"I controlled the ball quite well, while my opponent encountered some problems in controlling the ball."

Selby entered the final of China Open for the second time, the Leicester cueman lost to the eventual champion Judd Trump two years ago. Selby has already won the UK Championship, the Masters and two PTC events this season.

Murphy, who hasn't won a title since the Brazil Masters 18 months ago, said: "Another defeat in semis, I'm really disappointed. The defeats in semis has become more and more in my career recently."

"My opponent could be seen as the best defender in the world, in the match against him I always lost my rhythm."

Robertson came from 4-2 and 5-4 down to force the match into decider with a cool 110 clearance in frame ten. The Australian continued the momentum to seal the victory with a break of 81 in the decider.

"My performance today is like counter attacking. I'm happy with the last frame. I never thought about losing though 4-2 behind." said Robertson.

"I played better than the previous two matches, but still lost," said Maguire.

"Anyway I adjust my form this week for the upcoming world championships."

Talking about Sunday's final against Selby, Robertson said: "Selby had five to six more resting hours than me. I hope I can have a good sleep tonight because the jet leg still affects me. I expect to win the title before world championships."

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