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For 12 days, there were two stages upon which the Crucible drummer was
played, but in an overnight production worthy of applause in
itself, now there is one. One table, one title to be claimed upon it. --
Crucible drama. What memories we have, going back 40 years of this
exact setup in the Crucible Theatre. All eyes on one table. 12 foot 6',
72 square feet, 6.6 metres squared, if you prefer. It is not the biggest
playing surface in world sport, but it is certainly the most intimate,
and over the next five days a possible 101 frames of snooker will
be played upon this, until we find our champion on Monday night.
Welcome to the semifinals of the bet Fred World Championships. ANNOUNCER:
Enter the Dragon, Ding Junhui. Congratulations to Ding Junhui, you
have beaten your idle and you are through to the semifinal. Almost
flawless snooker from the current world champion and he will be so
hard to beat. What a performance from John Higgins, he is through to
his eighth World Championships any final. Barry Hawkins absolutely
delighted to get into his fourth semifinal in five years. Well, if
ever there was a venue within a venue, it is this place, the
Crucible Theatre. Almost two venues within the one tournament, this is
when the real business starts. Can you remember your first final here,
1990? I'm surprised you can't remember the what happened? I.
People felt to realise you are only just over the tip of halfway, you
have played 36 frames to get here and if you want you have to play
another 35. Yes, I always considered the first three rounds to be almost
qualifying rounds. This is the biggest test was that are you
jealous? Extremely. Me too. Such a long two weeks, two and a
half weeks, so do try and maintain that form from start to finish is
very difficult. The way I have performed at the moment is probably
the perfect way if I could have planned it, just to play really good
match snooker the first two matches and then sort of pick-up as you go
along, as I did in the game against Marco. I just hope I haven't peaked
too soon. I am looking forward to that game against Mark Selby. The
thing is, he is a top player, he has been number one for a few years.
Everything is stronger than before. I will just play my game so that
will be OK. It will be a tough game against Ding, played him last time
in the final, playing him again at the one-table set-up, it will a
fantastic occasion. He is one of the greats of our game. The only thing
missing for him is the, world champion. It doesn't feel this time
a lot of pressure. When I'm playing well, it doesn't feel like that. If
you're not playing good, then you may be thing to much. Having all
that pressure from his country on his shoulders as well is not easy.
The game is hard enough without that. It has been difficult for him
but he is more than capable of winning any tournament he plays in
now, and especially this one. World number one Mark Selby and number
four, Ding Junhui, only seem to me these days on the grandest
occasions. The last three matches have all been finals, most notably
right here at the Crucible 12 months ago. But since then, he has claimed
the Shanghai Masters last September, but the following month he was
swamped by Selby Tanak -- he was swamped by Selby 10-1. Now they
cross queues again. Very much looking forward to seeing them doing
so, John Virgo and Ken Dougherty. They met in this final last year. In
what respects has things changed to them in the past 12 months? I think
Mark Selby has come in here and has proven he is the world number one by
a long way. You can't dispute that. The form he has shown has been
tremendous. What has happened to Ding Junhui, we know what happened
to running O'Sullivan all those years ago, and he has been his
nemesis of many years. All the people in China base Ding's
performances on whether he can beat Ronnie O'Sullivan, and the fact he
has now beaten him gives him a bit of impetus going in here, but what
he can't afford to do, which he did in the final last year, lose the
first six frames, because Mark Selby is looking rock solid. He sure does.
Mark Selby was in the arena earlier this morning with his wife and
daughter, and his great friend and wing man Bobby, and they looked so
relaxed actually. But John makes a very good point, Ding will
appreciate the importance of his start and I wonder how much that win
over Ronnie will give him the Phillips said he might need today?
That is the interesting question, plus the fact he doesn't have a
hangover from yesterday. He climbed Everest against a O'Sullivan and he
has to do it again against Selby. There will be a completely different
proposition. Because of the scars from last year's final as well. It
will be interesting to see what confidence Ding derived from that
match. He came into the studio and he was very happy, very relaxed, and
his snooker has been fantastic. He is one of the best scorers in the
business and Mark Selby has been growing into this tournament,
getting better and better each round. This is going to be a
cracking match. As for economy of effort, does it have any bearing as
we come into the semifinal? I don't think so. These guys practice three
or four hours a day. I don't think that will really affect him. I think
Ding should be on a high. Maybe we should give Terry Griffiths a bit of
credit here. Absolutely. Ding used to sit there in his chair looking
like he was beaten, and Terry has got into his head and made him come
you know, fight. In fact, Terry has two semifinalists here with Barry
Hawkins in the other semifinal. A possible 33 frames to play over four
sessions. Rob Walker just has two introductions to make, but as usual
he will make them count. ANNOUNCER: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
just the one table, such a special time here at the Crucible.
Semifinals at the bet Fred World Snooker Championship, barely gets
any better. What a match to start things off, it is a rerun of last
year's final. CHEERING Please welcome, the man who has,
without doubt, inspired a generation of snooker fans and players back
home. He is emerging for his third Crucible semifinal, after one of the
most significant victories of his career yesterday. He was absolutely
brilliant against the Rocket. He is a national hero back home and there
will be millions watching this live. So, enter the Dragon, Ding Junhui!
CHEERING And, his opponent, the undisputed
world number one for the last two years. The secured his fifth
Crucible semifinal yesterday with a display of absolutely sublime
snooker. Arguably the best we have seen from him here at the Crucible.
Reigning UK champion, defending world champion, the Jester from
Leicester, Mark Selby! CHEERING So the opening frames to play this
afternoon in our first semifinal, a three-day drama featuring Mark Selby
and Ding Junhui gets underway. Ken and John, these are the moments they
play for. COMMENTATOR: Yes, they certainly
are, the one-table situation at the Crucible Theatre. No better venue in
snooker. And the atmosphere, you can just feel it, Ken, can't you, sort
of that tenseness there. Yes, absolutely fantastic, John. Thank
you, ladies and gentlemen, the first frame. Ding Junhui the break. Nice
round of applause. Ding Junhui gets this semifinal off
and running. And we will just have a look at if you stats, just to give
you a flavour of it. Look at that, tournament pot success, 92% for both
players. Long pot success, I'm looking about mid-60s. Mark Selby
gets there, Ding Junhui just lightly below. Please make sure your phones
are switched off. There is way is one phone, isn't there? Tournament
success, it should be 90%, but they are such good long potters, these
players, so it puts pressure on. And the Huybrechts. -- the high breaks.
That doesn't tell the full story because that final session yesterday
that Mark Selby played was just as good as snooker as you will ever see
at the World Championship. And someone once said that the World
Championship was a marathon of the mind. It is certainly a marathon,
because this is the 500th frame being played in this year's that
Fred World Championship. APPLAUSE Good safety from Mark.
Certainly doesn't look to be an easy path back Selby to baulk, for Ding
Junhui. He has played the containing safety. Well, it's not too bad. It's
not brilliant, but he's not left anything easy. And, from that
situation, that's all he could hope for.
Another excellent links with the cue ball. -- excellent links with the
cue ball. Needed a thin contact. Foul. Mark
Selby, four. Well, there is a pot on here. If there is a cat pillow, I
think Mark would take it on, but that red near the top cushion, is a
danger. Not much of a gap here. He needs to be very accurate with this
one. Must be going for the pot, otherwise he would have had it
replaced. APPLAUSE Good shot. Played it positively,
stays short of the baulk line. Yes, nice pot, wasn't it? And he is
nicely on green or yellow here. The red above the black, he will be
trying to get on that red, into the left-hand corner pocket. There are a
couple of other roads available as well, but that would flee Orton free
up the black -- a couple of other reds.
I think he would have loved to have been a little bit straighter on this
red, on the black and closer to it, the screw back into the same pocket.
But he looks to have played that inch perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Slight problem here, in potting this black, he is just going to nudge the
red. He may just leave himself one of the reds into the cushion. He did
avoid the kiss, but it's not good, this. I think he was expecting a
little kiss, wasn't it, John? Didn't get it. He is going to come around
and have a look at the pack. He needs to hit the pink ear, full
ball. It is a little bit away from the red as well, he has just got to
hit it absolutely perfect. Oh, how is his luck here? I think he has got
one to the left corner, but he has hit the pink absolutely perfect. You
couldn't have fitted better than that. But he just caught this red,
you see, just nudged the cue ball of the table. But he's OK, he can just
cue passed the pink. -- you couldn't have hit it better than that.
He gets to 70 points in this frame, snookers will be required. Another
40 needed. And, at the moment, Mark Selby has
got the cue ball on a string. The table looks to be playing lovely and
quick. And those few frames yesterday in that session of snooker
against Marco Fu, some of the breaks he made, particularly the 143, was
quite incredible, one of the best breaks I think we've ever seen in
these championships. We have been blessed with a lot of great
memories, but that 143 yesterday, some of the pots were just the sign
of a guy with plenty of confidence, in complete control. Yeah, and the
belief that he can pot anything. And, of course, if you've got great
belief in your potting ability, you can always concentrate that little
bit more on controlling the cue ball. Getting into position. This is
a delicate little shot, this, to drop this in, and I presume he will
try to hold for the black in the opposite corner.
Played at too delicately. It was a delicate one.
It is hard to believe that he could hit it that softly with the long
extension. Because the black didn't go into the
middle of the pocket, he didn't get the desired connection on that red.
He tried to stun into that red full ball. You can see he hit a half
ball, slightly out of position now. He can pot this red, but the cue
ball is running into the red just below it, so he has got to rely on a
little bit of luck, here. Two for the price of one. There you go. But,
in all fairness, he will be pleased to see that red that went along the
top cushion and dropped in, because he's not really on a colour, and if
that red had stayed over a corner pocket, which it could have done, he
would have had no safety. Well, he's got to be very careful here. He's
got to find the cue ball back to. He's digging down. His play that
pretty well. Good start from Mark Selby. He'd be disappointed he
didn't when the final, that visit. Not much Ding Junhui can do here,
but he would like to get this cue ball fightback on this top cushion.
And that's very well played -- tight back on this top cushion. It might
look like a nothing short, but that's given Mark Selby a slight
problem here, to get this safe. I think if you can get the cue ball
up somewhere near the green pocket, it's not straightforward, this, but
anywhere in the vicinity of the green pocket, he may block the red
that's between the ball colours and the blue. That's what he is coming
to have a look at now. But of course with the cue ball in
that area, he is going to leave a straightforward safety shot, left of
the yellow. He is in a bit of a predicament here.
He's gone down the other side. That brown has come to his rescue. It
blocked the path of the red into the red centre. Yes, only just, though.
Played that well, and particularly if he's covered the red to the
middle, with the brown, and the red near the baulk line with the green
committee could not have played that any better. It's advantage Ding in
this safety exchange, no doubt about that. That's Mark's view of those
two reds I was talking about. OK, you can just get past the yellow,
but not much you can do with that red. He is just having a look at
that one. He might try and cut it towards the right centre. It will
certainly pass the red that's closest to the right centre, if he
doesn't pot it direct, it might go in of the red. No, he hasn't had
that too good. He will leave a chance now for Ding Junhui. --
hasn't hit that too good. So Ding's first pot in this
semifinal. A chance that he didn't think he was going to get, when Mark
Selby was in earlier. Yes, and we were talking just before
the match, when they played in last year's final, Ding Junhui lost the
first six frames, and did well to close the gap, but lost because he
just left himself with too much to do, even though this is the first
frame of a best of 33, its massive for Ding Junhui. Because Mark Selby,
when he was in, looked very confident. If Ding Junhui could win
this frame on this visit, it would certainly put a marker down. Yeah,
it's going to be interesting to see how much confidence that fantastic
win against Ronnie O'Sullivan, his hero, in the previous round, what it
will do for Ding Junhui's confidence.
He might go for Brunel, or -- he might go for blue or full colour. --
baulk colour. He didn't play that well but it shouldn't be a problem,
so long as he avoids a kiss on pink or black. He would rather have been
straight on this red. Coming off two cushions, he is striking low, maybe
he can hold. So this is the key shot, and, in all honesty, he's not
perfect on any colour here. He wanted to have good close position
on this last red. He's not certain to get it off the blue. Yes, he
really wanted to be down for brown or green off that red that was close
to the right centre pocket, so he's going to negotiate the cue ball of
this top cushion, side cushion, back beside the red, and he's got into
that too much. Needs to slow up. It's not too bad. So, big shot with
the rest now. I'm just having a look at the stats,
we've got stats for everything in the tournament. Rest pot success,
82%. He could do with this one, could be the frame when. APPLAUSE
In it goes. Perfect on the brown. -- could be the frame-winner. Points
all square. Of this all came about from the
wonderful safety shot. He put Mark Selby in a lot of trouble. It looked
a very simple shot. It was very clever, the way he covered the red
over the right centre, kept the cue ball tight to the baulk cushion, and
he's reaping the rewards now. Mark Selby will be very disappointed,
John. He was in. Should have won the frame from that visit. Just the
blue. APPLAUSE That puts him 18 points in front
with 14 remaining, but not for long. Mark Selby was in, and as Ken said,
he just ran out of position at a vital time. They had a safety
exchange, which Ding Junhui won, which created this opportunity, and
hasn't he taken these well? Wonderful first frame. If the rest
of the match is like that, we're in for a cracker. Ding Junhui wins the
first frame 1-0. APPLAUSE We are in the practice room.
Anything we can help you with, send in your videos or contact us.
Thank you, John. We have got ourselves a ringside seat. This is
where it is all going to happen. We have a fantastic view. A signal from
Ding Junhui, he was bullied in that final, was losing 6-0. He will not
be bullied this time? That was a massive first frame. Fantastic
break. He looked cool as a cucumber. Mark Selby had the air of somebody
who was going to clear the table. The aura he has had all tournament.
Ding hit a fantastic safety shot. This was a simple enough shot but
there was pressure on it. He will do -- remember being 6-0 down last
year. That was magnificent. It really was. Very impressed with that
clearance by Ding Junhui. It looked Serena. Fantastic atmosphere. They
have both been in semifinals. Physically getting used to the
arena? Yeah. There are no sign of nerves.
So, Mark Selby breaks off in this second frame. He will be
disappointed he didn't win the first frame from that first visit. As
Stephen Hendry said in the studio, he did look very calm. He has an
aura about him when he is walking around the table, he looked as if he
is going to clear the table. It didn't work out that way.
The one thing with that kind of shot from Ding Junhui, is he going to
miss it? That why -- that is why I always think 66% is about right for
a long pot success. Ding Junhui is just below that. That would be OK
for me. That type of shot that thing played, not too thin, not too thick.
Wonderful shot. You don't get much better than that. That will improve
his stats. Excellent opening red. Have a look at this. Great cueing.
Is the red to the left of the pink on to the right centre? Not from
that of shot. A little kiss on this red. It is not great.
That is not a bad positional shot, John! Yeah, for a moment it looked
as if he was on nothing. And suddenly this red appeared from
nowhere. Couldn't have hit that any better.
Fantastic shot. Again, pink, full ball, required. He has a look. Not
great. It could have been a lot better. That's a couple of times he
has hit the pink perfect. You always need some luck. You need the black
not to be tied up and a nice straightforward red. He doesn't have
that here. He can cut this red into the corner.
Using a spider. He will have to play a very good shot era. I don't think
you can hold for the black. You have to find the gap to go for a blue or
baulk colour. Very difficult. I don't blame him for not liking this.
But this is the way the modern game is played. You get a chance, you try
to win the frame in one visit. Look at the amount of right-hand side he
is potting on his cue ball. I'm just looking at the red. Would
it not be a better choice to pot it into the right-hand pocket? The fear
is he may leave this red he is playing. No guarantee to be on a
colour here. Well, it's rolled backwards on the
pink. It is not as easy as it looks on your screens. But he can drop it
in. He did well to find the gap using the spider.
He is taking the blue. Watto shot! -- what a shot! It shows the sign of
a very confident player. That was magnificent.
Nice angle on the black. In potting the black he can move the red to the
left of it. That is OK. Now he clears the black
into both pockets. This has been a wonderful start from
both players, John. They looked in fine fettle. -- look. Yes. And at
the moment both players' pot success, 100%. Neither player has
missed a ball yet that they have gone for. A tough school. It is not
often you see that. But doesn't that just some snooker
up? When you are set in your chair, there is nothing you can do about
it. We always say, and it is true, you have no right to reply. Just sit
there and watch it. He has just missed a cannon. Is there a planned
to save him? Fortunate if there is. -- plant. I don't know if you can
make it. There are two plants. There is some distance between these reds.
Yes, he could make it. Now 68 points in front. With 75
remaining. He is only looking for one more red. And it doesn't go? I
don't think that goes. So this frame is not over yet. That is hard to
believe, after playing some in a good shots in this break. Just one
slight lack of concentration when he could have hit this a lot harder.
Just the little kiss on the red has cost him winning the frame in this
visit. He is going to leave a chance for Ding Junhui. OK, it has got to
be a long pot row. But it is a chance he didn't think he was going
to get. He has left a possible pot for a
mark into this right corner. And remember, he only needs the red. The
red will put him 69 points in front, with just 67 remaining.
He has missed one. Now, what can Dean do? -- ding. This red is very
straight. Yes, this was a terrific opening
red. Because he wants to get the cue ball away from the side-cushion, you
have the tendency to pinch a bit. But he made certain of the pot. He
will probably have to cannon into the three reds here. Not too hard.
Yes, that is where he would love to put the cue ball. That is not too
bad. He has not the red towards the right centre. He has put those two
reds into a portable position as well. Yes, and he has got viewpoints
to play with. -- a few points. He will have to concentrate on these
few Mac -- few reds on the black. He has overhead this. He has overhead
that. A little bit of adrenaline there. OK, it may be OK. In potting
this he will run into the other red, which will hold the cue ball at this
end. But he has not fair red close to the side-cushion, not what he
wanted. -- he has knocked a red. 46 behind, 51 remaining. It is not
ideal on this red. He wanted to be a bit straighter and so he could screw
back down for the black. He has to be careful. No. You see, that red
below the black is just in his way slightly. He was concentrating so
much done missing that red and not on the pot itself.
He just needed the red but he deemed it too dangerous to go for. I don't
blame them. He has got a good cue ball. Ding Junhui asked to play a
good safety here. He has to catch this red just right.
He is saved by the blue. He was fortunate there.
Yes, and of course being 46 points in the lead, Mark Selby doesn't
really like the idea of taking this red away from the black because it
is in a safe position. It looks like he is just going to roll the cue
ball down towards this bottom right-hand corner pocket.
Very clever. He didn't want to take the red off the cushion. He wanted
to keep it there. That is his insurance policy. And of course with
the black tide up as well, it doesn't help Ding Junhui's chances.
He could be taking this red on. If he parts the red he is in front by
46. With only 47 remaining. He has drifted by the yellow. It is a good
cue ball. Ding Junhui with a problem. OK, the red in the middle
of the table will pot. Being 46 points behind with only 51
remaining, he needs these high value colours. He could overcome at it.
Played thin. But he has to avoid this red on the left-hand
side-cushion. Hankey did. He played it well. If he misses the yellow,
excellent. The little flick was no harm there.
It must be noticeable in the last frame and in this one, and it is
something Ding Junhui has to do in this match, is compete in the safety
exchanges. And so far he is doing it. I couldn't agree more. He got a
double-kiss but it doesn't make much of a difference. But here, when you
play somebody like Mark Selby, safety has got to be spot on. He is
so clever. He didn't play the pot there. He has hit it too thin. By
getting so close he has left the chance of a pot for Mark. He needs
the red to get to snooker is required. -- snookers.
There may be an opportunity for Ding Junhui. He has not even looked at
it. I would have thought, try to play safe of the red on the black,
bring the black into play. Why not? OK, it's safe enough. But I couldn't
have turned that down, I have to be honest with you. That was a good
opportunity to bring black and red into play. He has played a decent
safety shot there. He has knocked the red into the baulk area. The
brown is kind of blocking it. If he did decide to play the pot, he
could play the run-through, go back down the table and get position on
the blue. But it is such a tough shot. He can roll up to the red
beside the black and knock the red away from the cushion. There is his
view. He is going to do what Ken suggested, roll up to this red. He
played the cushion first. Clever shot. At least he has brought the
black into play. I'm just wondering, Ken, will mark be tempted by a
double? The red on the right-hand cushion. He has not looked at it.
But the only needs the red, remember. He contemplated it but the
fact that that red is tied to the cautioned... Maybe he is looking. He
is looking at doubling this red off the side-cushion into the green
pocket. It is there. It is close, it is very
close! What a shot this is! That is magnificent. Such a clever shot.
Absolutely superb. He is a great cue man. He won the world 8-ball
championship. The frame is well and truly over now. Can he pot the
brown, Cannes the red? He missed the brown. Another very interesting
frame. Ding Junhui looked as if he had a chance. But excellent double
from Mark Selby clinched it. 1-1. I'd tell you what, if it is
going to be like this, fantastic. Bring it on. How close to peak
performance is Mark Selby in this championship? Holed, very. He is
walking around the table with the air of a man who is absolutely
buzzing. If that is the standard we are going to get in two frames, it
has been super. Both players look really sharp. Can you identify with
that peak level? And do you see something of yourself in Mark Selby?
Very much so. I keep try to find reasons why he will not win this and
I can't find one. I commented yesterday on his session, it was
some of the best snooker I had seen. This is a typical Mark Selby shot.
It just clever. It is maybe a two out of 20 shot. We saw a break of
143 yesterday. That is the best break I have seen since I started
working in snooker. Even better than 147. Having made 143 from there was
outstanding. Having done that, how does it make you feel? Just
unbeatable. He has almost an air of the expects to win this. One frame
at peace. Absolutely engrossing. We have one of these situations
where, whoever gets in, you fancy could win the frame in one visit. It
will all be about cue ball control. I don't fancy them missing a pot. It
is about keeping good control of the cue ball. Yeah. I totally agree. And
I agree with the lads in the studio. Both players playing at their peak.
A chance of this long red into the left corner pocket. Hold on... Azi.
The cover? -- has he got the cover? There may be a gap between yellow
and brown. He is on the brown. But no
guarantee. He has to really get into this if he is going to play for
those two reds around the black spot area. The black is out of
commission. The paint is out of commission. Where is the cue ball
going? Oh! He couldn't get into it too much
because of the yellow. He was trying to get this side of the middle
pocket. He was lucky not to go in and off.
Yeah, the fact the cue ball was so close to the cushion made that pot a
little bit more tricky. Playing off these reds will bring
the black into play. He needs some help here. He didn't
expect a kiss onto the second red. He has left this red on. He is not
guaranteed position. The paint is still tied up. The black near the
top-cushion. But he can't play for that. -- the pink is still tied up.
Can he get position? A thin blue. The red to the left of
the pink will be available. But because he can't play for the pink,
he can't play for the black, he will be playing for the blue. If he is
straight enough he can screw direct. If not, he will have two avoid the
red on the left side-cushion. In doing that, he is not on the blue.
Well, not to the middle anyway. He can drop it into this bottom
right-hand corner pocket. The two reds at the bottom of the pack would
go into the corner pocket. A slightly heavy contact. Easy on the
red no? -- is he on the red now? May be another plant. It looks like he
can make it. In hitting that first red onto the second red, the first
one will go into the pack and bring some order into play. This could
work out a treat. APPLAUSE
Nice shot. Needs to get top side with the blue.
He doesn't want to risk playing for the black, but may have no
alternative now. So whenever these are just off the cushion, these are
missable. You've got to be so accurate with the shot. Got to be so
accurate, as I say. In the main, these players make those shots look
so easy but when they are just off the cushion, you just catch the near
jaw, they're not going to drop. Yes, particularly with a bit of pace as
well, which he had to inject into the cue ball to get it out for the
red. Ding trying to bring some reds into play with that red he's got a
nice angle on the black year. Into the pack of roads. Needs a bit of
luck. Didn't get any luck. Looking at the
possibility of playing a double. As I say, this is the modern-day
snooker player, they are looking for a way they can win the frame in one
visit. If this is the only red he can leave, the one he is trying to
double, then fair comment, but if he's going to leave another red,
it's a very risky shot to take on. Taking it on he is. And getting it.
APPLAUSE I am sure when he hit it he didn't
expect it to drop. That little kiss on the red as well,
helped the cue ball, that red into the centre, now a good chance, a
couple of reds close to the thing. He could put the cue ball in an area
here and he could be on a couple of reds.
I think he played for that red. The right middle. But obviously there is
a red below the pink that goes, so maybe he didn't play for that red.
Whatever he played for, he was nicely on that one. Just three
points behind now, with black to come.
He's OK. He would have preferred the red to the right corner, but he's
got the red to the right middle. Looking for another 33 points from
this situation. It will fall nicely for the thing.
But he's going to need four more of these reds to clinch it at this
visit. Three right in the middle of the table shouldn't be a problem. We
saw Mark Selby negotiate a wonderful double two in the frame in his
previous game. Ding Junhui that double could prove the difference.
As John said, doesn't need that red that's close to the left-hand side
cushion. It's the perfect double here. Excellent shot.
He's looking very confident, Ding Junhui, and when he's confident, is
a wonderful player to watch. He's got a lovely touch in and around the
black spot area. He's got great control, hasn't he? Cue ball control
is going to be key, I feel. Average uptime 22 seconds. -- shot time.
Just needs to run a little bit, just a bit short of pace. He's looking
for red cover, and one more red. In fact, two raids, two colours. -- two
reds. APPLAUSE Now it's all about this blue, and
getting on the red. He may have the angle on the blue here, as we watch
that red go in. No, he's screwing for the one on the right-hand side
of the table. Still needs a red and a after this. Played it perfectly.
Wonderful shot. APPLAUSE 31 points the lead, 43 points
remaining at the moment. Now 35 points remaining, and this together
38 points in front. No way back to the table now for
Mark Selby. It has been 60 or above in each frame so far, but this has
been a wonderful break. He's looking very sharp, isn't he,
Ken? He certainly is. Both players have laid down a marker for the rest
of the semifinal, if it's going to continue in this form.
If you people are asking what sort of reaction would we get from Ding
Junhui, after that epic match he had with Ronnie O'Sullivan. I think what
I thought at the time, it just gave him great confidence and a great
boost. A bit short of pace there on the pink, but it doesn't matter.
There is no Centurion. He will try to get on the black, though. Oh,
well, he missed the pink, but doesn't matter. Excellent
contribution, and Ding Junhui looking very sharp. He now leads by
two frames to one. and that is the CV for. One. He got
to the semifinal last year, the only time he has really excelled at the
Crucible. He has looked in good form as we have ever seen this year.
Absolutely forced you would think he a different player, after the
disappointment of last season and of course losing in the final to Mark
Selby last year, but you think he would have taken a lot of positives
from that run to the final, and the experience of it all. Yes, and also
we need to remember he is only 30. It is a learning curve. He had
success at a very young age. Danny Willett with his manager,
chubby Chandler. We always like to see Danny about. He looked as
thrilled as anyone when he put the green jacket on Sergio Garcia. A
wonderful moment. Ring while, that red just past the pink, and now on a
baulk colour. You may elect to play the yellow and play a cannon into
the main bunch because there is only one awkward red to get on. That's
OK. He's got a red into the right corner pocket. That was his
thousandth ball potted. He is 101 behind Ding Junhui, but, as we said
earlier, Ding Junhui has played a few more frames. 16, actually, more
frames. You could say he's had more practice. All will be revealed.
Play that well. It was an excellent shot.
When potting this red, he will open the path of the black into the
pockets. Just three or four loose reds available.
A bit short of pace with the cue ball.
Back in prime position now on the red that's below the pack of reds,
that open into the same pocket with the black is on. He wants to get
into that red. And if he leaves it at a nice angle, which he has done,
you can pot this red now and bring some more reds interplay from the
pack. That's a wonderful shot. Yes, and
that's the way to play, or break-builder. You can leave a red
just below that bunch. He has a bit of work to do with the cue ball.
Maybe there is a red to that cluster. It is one he has played on,
and played inch perfect. Just 25 points required. And he will be at
the snookers required stage. He could play the red to the right
middle, there is a nice angle on that to come down for the black once
again. I don't know if you can lower it through and play for the thing.
He is playing this other one here. He would be running into another
red, so his got to be careful with the cue ball finishes. Watch the
middle pocket. OK, played it confidently, and hitting that red as
he did, he is back in the same in the cue ball was travelling but
looks very straight on this blue. OK, don't expect him to miss this
red but he has just under skewed slightly. Shouldn't cause a problem.
Oh no, it's perfect. This will fit into the three points in front,
still 75 remaining. So looking for one more red and a colour. And again
another 60 plus break. It has been excellent stuff. Perfectly on the
blue. This blue to go 69 points in front with just 67 remaining. In it
goes. Is he on a red? If he is, the chance of seeing the first century
in the semifinal. Now if this cannon goes right, we
could see Mark going on to make a century here. And he has played
well. If this bottom red goes, if not, he has won to the right middle.
He hasn't been out of position once, has he? The way both players are
potting, you don't expect them to miss easy balls. It is all about
controlling the cue ball. He has already made four centuries in the
tournament so far. If you get from this red, you could seen in the five
coming up. A bit short. The red for the century. No! Just a
fraction off. He can't be too disappointed. As Ken said, that
break was exemplary. As they go into the interval, they have given us a
treat for four frames, all square to appease.
The first time that Mark Selby has fallen behind in any of his matches.
He has beaten Marco Fu is radically. Let's get the thoughts of John and
Stephen here. If you are an aspiring player and want to be a
professional, that is the benchmark you have to find and it is very
high. A superb session of the snooker. You can't play at much
higher standard than that. How important Ding Junhui made his
presence felt right from the off? Very much so. He played very well to
beat O'Sullivan. I think he has got to go up a level to win this match.
He has got to virtually not miss at all when he gets in four sessions,
and that is going to be a real test. So far here standing up it, when he
gets in he doesn't look like missing. He has to keep that up
because Selby will keep going. Ding has to find another level for this
match. It is lining up to be a classic if it keeps going like this.
Absolutely. Mark Selby missed a black that was trivial on the top
cushion and has lost position twice, that is why it is 2-2. The standard
is incredibly high. It becomes a mental battle as well, you talk
about keeping your standard survival stop incredibly difficult to
achieve, particularly in a four session match. That is why this
tournament is so difficult, not only this match for four sessions, but
four sessions in the final. It is a massive test of belief, stamina,
concentration, everything. This semifinal, if it give going like
this, then they have to go up a level again for the final. We love
it. It is going to be who is the first here. It is the only place to
be in here as well, because we spent the last 12 days out in the Winter
Gardens, which has been fantastic, but being in here, it does give you
a proper focus. You could hardly breathe, you think you could affect
the outcome of the matches in here. I hope you are enjoying it and
sharing it all with us on the BBC, but you know there is a parallel
championship going on right now in the Winter Gardens. It has been
going on since we got here, and John Parrott still think the could be a
contender. It no, I don't! Hello and welcome to our next
edition of pop quiz with none other than the former world champion, 1991
world champion, Jon Power. APPLAUSE Thank you. -- John Parrott. We have
had some of the new breed of snooker, now the not so new. The
leaderboard, as we look, it is the world number one and current world
champion, Mark Selby. One minute 18 seconds. He won't be getting
threatened. As long as you can beat Barry Hawkins, two minutes 18
seconds. Please. Drum roll, please. Question one, you should know this,
what was the number one record the day you won your Crucible title in
1991. Was it vogue by Madonna, the one and only Chesney Hawkes, your
favourite, or was it the Shoop Shoop song by share? I am going to go for
Cher. Correct, you always like that of Shoop Shoop. That same year, who
won the high break prize, in 1991. It is not a hurricane, but it might
be a... Oh... Jimmy White. Very good. APPLAUSE
I love you, darling. I hope you are as nice to me as I am to you! From
the debut appearance onwards, which player has won the most successive
first-round matches. I certainly wouldn't have known this. Jimmy
White. It is actually your self, John Parrott. Listen, nobody would
have got that right, believe me! LAUGHTER
I didn't! Who contested the quickest ever match at the Crucible. Tullo
the quickest players that ever played the game. Tony Trego. Yes.
Who is the second fastest? Ronnie O'Sullivan. Very good. I love him.
The only question I have got wrong is my own! Weir in last year's World
Championship, who knocked out Ronnie O'Sullivan, 13-12. Barry Hawkins?
Very, very good! APPLAUSE I have for question so I can take
four reds off. That one. That one, and maybe one other in the middle.
Good choice. So my time starts... As soon as you strike the cue ball. As
John Virgo would say, pot as many balls as you can. He is off to a
good start. Good choice. Hey, that wasn't bad. Very, very good. I
haven't seen in this quick in a long, long time. Very, very good."
Of the cue ball, and he's not on a cushion, believe it or not. Thanks.
They don't call him Cushy Parr for nothing, you know. 30 seconds, this
is good. I cracked up, it was the wrong ball. It's all gone. Look at
this. Cagey. Cagey parrot. 50 seconds, you're doing well, don't
panic! One good pot. Now, I need the rest! Roll it, you are only on when
it. Quick, go. No, I don't want to do that! It has all gone wrong! Oh
no, what's he doing? One minute 20, come on. What have I done? You are
doing OK. You are definitely going to finish ahead of Barry Hawkins and
Steve Davis. It looks like. Quickly! APPLAUSE
Very, very good! And the time is one minute 35
seconds. That's OK. I am the fifth man who played safe on him say it --
the first man who played safe on himself on the last red. LAUGHTER
And right now, here's how it stands. World number one Mark Selby still
out in front, nine seconds ahead of Marco Fu. Respectable time from John
Parrott, middle of the pack really, I think he would say. The only
player who could upset the standings is our last competitor, the 11 times
women's world champion, Rhiannon Evans, as pot quiz comes down to the
wire. Looking forward to seeing that. We have had some terrific
feedback from you about a feature we have been running a couple of times
actually, about the amazing table footage. Peter Godwin and his team
ready to this arena for the championship, and last night they
were up till six o'clock in the morning, moving one table out,
moving the main match centre into the centre, and Rikl thing it. --
re-clothing it. We will give you the insiders guide to the equipment that
will win these guys a title tomorrow night. The queues. I go to the
timber yards with large stocks of ash and maple, and I come away with
just a little pile. I'm looking for the colour, the grain in the wood,
the density and the wait. From there, it will become a square
like this, and you can see then where the grain's going on the word.
I'll then look at each one. If there are any knots or blemishes, we can
discard them at that stage, and then we start the rolling process from
there. We will leave the square is for a couple of months, and then we
take it down to an oversize, and then leave that for at least a
month. From there we take it down again to the mid-size, leave it
again, and then from there to an oversize to finish. We then weigh
the shaft to see what the wait is, because there can be quite a
variation, with the densities of wood. Then I will check it over,
decide on the grain. Depending on what lengthy cue will be. I will
then look down to see what the size someone once, however they wanted,
what length they want, and I will just find, basically, the best one
that will suit that. That then becomes the shaft for that
particular order, and then it will then go through splicing and things
like that. And the jihad is a natural weight to
the cue. So basically we plane it down. -- the ebony. Then it goes to
a tapered wedge. The ebony is glued onto those two sides. And from there
we then plane that in by hand. Gibbon turning that. As you can see,
the points are starting to develop from there. You plane that in. Be
careful not to take too much of any one place. It is a case of keep
checking that. Quite a bit of planning. It will end up looking
like this, with the nice distinctive points. And hopefully a line that is
in line with the shaft. We are going to inlay some decoration here. We
have 20 different woods we can use. That will be glued onto there. To
give it an extra feature, we have used a sandwich of veneers, thin
pieces of wood. These are able. This is a stained sycamore to give a
black line. The cue is then cut to length. The reason for this is
twofold. One, it holds the wood together. It gets a battering with
hitting the ball is. It stops it from splitting. When it is on the
cue, it gives it a nice solid base to dilute the tip onto. Once the
Farrell is on, the shaft is planed in and then it goes through sanding
operations. It needs eight different sanding operations to get it into
the silky smooth finish that is ready for the final finishing. When
we have done the final sanding on the cue, the tip goes on. It is
important that you level the top of the Farrell at the back of the tip
and dome it to its final shape. The cue then gets its oil finish, which
is a few coats of linseed oil that we put on there. That seals the
shaft and protected from the elements. It also has the effect of
enhancing the grain and bringing out the natural colours within the wood
and the nice grain patter ands appear. The final part is putting
the flat bottom. It is traditional to have the flap. You can put a low
go in. The final touch is dropping in the logo.
I think John Parris has about 60%? I'm sure I heard of that. That is
quite a large percentage of top snooker players. He is widely
regarded as the best cue maker in the business. How many cues would
you go through in a lifetime? Hopefully one. A snooker cue is a
very personal thing. My own cue was a rubbish cue. I bought it when I
was 12 or 13 and use that my whole career until it got smashed on an
aeroplane. I could never replace it. Hopefully you go through with one
cue your whole life. A few of the players tend to tinker. John Higgins
fingered a little bit. Maybe Judd Trump is thinking of actually
changing his. What promptss changes? Is it easier to change your game
than it is your cue, is that more advisable? My own coach never liked
the cue I was using because it didn't have enough power, he said.
Some players might want to change their game. They want to play more
shots. A stronger bit of wood will give you that cue power. Some
players might want to change from a bigger tip Lewis Moore tip, or vice
versa. It is not advisable to tinker. You never stop when you
start. The flat piece on the butt of the cue, you always liked that but
some players don't? Some players like it round. I was like the flat.
I used to like to feel it when I delivered the cue. It is purely
preference. Did that help you line up? I just feel comfortable having
that on the palm of my hand. It is preference. I did mention the table
fitters. One of the guys who probably has not had a great deal of
sleep last night is Eugene James, let's go behind the scenes with him.
My name is Eugene James. My job is a snooker table fitter. I have been
coming to the Crucible for 30 years. It is magic. It's great. When you
have been to all the other venues all over the world, this one is
definitely special. When we service the tables during the tournament,
people are right behind you and it is scary sometimes. They think that
make you think they are talking about you and they are not, really.
They are not interested in you. You only see two tables at most on the
TV. There is more going on. If you have -- you have a table in the Cue
Zone in the Winter Gardens. You also practice tables. That keeps us busy.
The main thing is making sure you keep the table level and clean. And
also fighting the elements. Letting moisture into the cloth and the
table and the slate. It is all natural materials. As the years have
gone by, things have got more technical. We have added extra
things, we have added heaters, static controls to stop kicks. When
the weather gets bad, it's getting to the table. There is not a logic
can do. You just keep brushing, ironing, try to adjust the
temperature. It's very hard. Each day you will get VIPs come in. You
get a lot of people coming in to look at the tables. Sit down and
have their pictures taken. All of these people are constantly walking
around. It makes the table move. They are not allowed to touch the
table. We sit there like Bulldogs to make sure they go nowhere near. It
is a long haul, a long night. The biggest problem is time. Because a
snooker table likes two or three days to settle improperly. -- to
settle improperly. When you see the great matches on the table, I don't
think a lot of people appreciate how hard we work and what we put into
it. I think it is just the satisfaction that you have seen a
great game. That is the satisfaction you get from it. I would probably
walk around and nobody would know who I am in a sense. I'm the quiet
person behind the scenes. But yeah, I am proud of it. Proud of what I
have put into it. It's just the finished article you get, a
fantastic tournament, year after year.
You don't walk on the grass at Wimbledon, do you? You don't touch
the table here. Otherwise Eugene and the boys will be onto you. But you
can in the practice room. John is there now. Perhaps there is nothing
wrong with your cue, but John, help us. We have had some fantastic
responses. Nate asks, what is the difference between running side and
Czech side? When the cue ball makes contact with the cushion, which
weighs it going? I'm going to play the green. If I wanted to widen the
angle, if you put some extra side on, that is running side. It is
going right and coming off white. You play the green like that, screw
back and widen the angle. It is running the way the ball was
naturally going. Conversely, if you are playing the shot there and you
are on the brown and you try to come back to hold the lab brown, you
would go the other side. Because you are putting it left-hand side, it
and bring it back. You would get on the left-hand side of the cue ball,
play it through, and the quite checks itself up and comes back and
nice and straight towards the red. That one back there for the Czech
side, running side down the table. Adam asks about playing screw shots.
He can't get any power on the cue ball or Mikey scuffs the white. What
you have to do, naturally your bridge hand is a certain height.
Just drop it down slightly so you can go lower down the cue ball.
Don't be frightened. What you are trying to do is you are trying to
gather the white... Don't be afraid to come back nice
and smooth, try to imagine you are your at it through the cue ball and
trying to hit the red. Nice and smooth, threw the ball, and screw it
back like that. And this one, the final one, comes from Billy. He
says, sometimes I struggle with how to judge shots at an angle. This is
probably the best piece of advice amateurs can have, getting the angle
right for potting a ball. We have a blue in the bog area. If you're cue
ball was here and you are trying to pot that blew in the corner pocket,
basically everybody knows when -- what a plant is. Movies out of the
way. That applies to every single pot on the table, whether it is here
or there. You will see players walking around the table, they will
have a look to see the angle of the pot. They are trying to visualise
that cue ball being where the yellow is. When you are in the club, try
this next time. But a bowl down there, get lined up. And say, I'm
going to pot this. Get him to play the yellow out of the way when you
are playing and you should pot the blue in the middle pocket. Every
single one of those, it is a plant, that is what you are thinking about.
Thank you very much, John. He has not lost it, as he? He was
impressive. He did ever so well. We didn't see where the cue ball ended
up though! Good camerawork. Two frames each.
We return to Ken and John. So the mid-session interval over. Ding
Junhui gets the fifth frame under way. The match time coming up to one
hour and five minutes. It has been quickfire.
100% pot success after the first couple of friends was never going to
last. -- frames. The safety play from both players has improved. 88%
each. That is a very poor safety shot from Mark Selby. Long pot
success... Ding Junhui has not been knocking too many long ones in.
Quite surprised. I'm sure that will improve. He is normally such a good
long potter. The Huybrechts statistic has been very impressive.
Ding has made nine centuries in this championship so far. Well, Mark
Selby played a very poor safety shot. But it is the 60s and 70s that
have been going in. Mark played a very poor safety shot, didn't leave
anything. And Ding Junhui has followed suit. You feel with your
hand on the table. He is looking at this part. It is straight. He will
have to play a lot of pace to go back for a blue or baulk colours.
This pot is very difficult. You have to be so accurate. Just like that.
He certainly got hold of that. What's the cue ball. It stops.
Almost like a dragster effect. Great camera angle. Nicely on yellow or
brown. I'm just wondering whether that read to the right of the black
will pot into this left-hand corner pocket. -- red. He is going into
them. Obviously it doesn't. He didn't mean that. He won't be taking
it back. The red doesn't pot into the same
pocket as the black. He may have to negotiate a little cannon on that
red. I'm not quite sure where he is got the perfect angle here. He would
like to have been a bit straighter with the cue ball.
He wanted the cannon body was not straight enough the black. The red
he is closest to does go to the far left corner.
Right in the heart of the pocket. Has he got an angle on the blue? He
would like one. He has looked at the angle on the blue and looked at what
reds available. He is not nicely on the blue. He is on the yellow.
Playing the yellow, he may decide to play the cannon with pace.
He never really got the pace that he felt was required. Does this red go?
It must do. That's amazing. Touching ball. As long as the red he is
touching doesn't move. It looked as though it was fine but he flicked
the other red and I think that has ruined his position. That is the end
of the break. As I said earlier, Ken, that is the only way you can
see him breaking down. Both players. Yeah. Good safety low. -- good
safety. He caught that much too thick. This
is a chance for Ding Junhui. A straight red to the right corner.
Nothing to do with the cue ball to be on the black. He needs to knock
this red in. His long pot success, he is one out of three at the
moment. He would love this to be two out of four.
He has feathered and touched the White with the tip of the cue! It
might not be that funny. Didn't hold the cue ball.
Desperately looking to cf the black goes to the left middle. I don't
think it does. -- to the left. No. He is having to talking behind
it. -- going behind it. He will be annoyed with themselves there. --
himself. If Ding Junhui can nestle in those
two red, if he could come of the one caution and nestle into those reds
below the pink, you would think it would be safe enough. If you can't
get to the left-hand side-cushion, he has got a problem. That is the
shot you are talking about, John. It has to be dead weight. If it slides
away from those couple of reds next to the pink, he could have a red to
the right centre or even the left-hand corner pocket. That looks
to be played pretty well. I don't think he is on that red. That is OK.
I thought he was in trouble but it was a natural one-cushion escape. As
long as he got the pace right, which he did. I've not seen Ding do that
before, feathery cue ball. It's not often you see a player do that. He
might do it in practice a little bit. Just touch did. It was nice to
see him smile. I don't think it is something you would've seen few
seasons ago. Which tells me he is comfortable in his own skin and
feeling at one with himself. I know I would have been smiling! But it
didn't cost him. It only cost him four points for the foul and the 1.4
the red. -- one point four the red. Very hard to see the funny side of
it. But he did. And that's why, of course, that we say the referees do
a great job, because you have to be on the ball all the time. Brendan
Moore spotted it. I have no doubt that Ding Junhui would have declared
it. But he was right on the spot. They don't get a chance to sit down
during these matches. Brendan Moore is a local lad as well, from the
Sheffield area. A proud Sheffield man. One of the top referees we have
now. I don't see any EC safety. Normally
when you don't see an easy safety, you look at the modern-day players
and they try to pop their way out of trouble. But it is risky. If the
pink was available he could stun the red in. There are a couple of reds
available, one to the left corner, want to the right corner. -- one.
In the end he went for the pot. You just get the feeling if he had
parted the red in the middle of the pocket, I don't think he would have
been on the black. -- potted. There was no other shot you could see to
get it safe. He has left a red to the left middle. In potting this,
screw off the red to the right of it. If he gets it, he could well be
on the black. I think he may have left this red.
It may cut back into the left middle. It is a thin one.
Mark doesn't think so, so he is playing safe. He didn't want the
kiss on the yellow. Not that he has left a pot on. It won't put Ding
Junhui in any difficulty. This could be one of those frames
that you talked about in the first four frames, about competing with
Mark Selby in this kind of game. There are not many in the world who
can compete with him at the safety game.
Just looking at Ding Junhui. His body language. His arm dropped. If
Mark Selby hadn't clipped the green, he would more than likely have left
a pot on. It is a safety shot here. He didn't get it. He didn't get it.
Yeah, didn't get away with it. Mark Selby got a little bit of luck. In
hitting the green, he took the pace out of the cue ball. He has left a
chance now. He will try to get on the blue here.
Try to get that back on its own spot.
Even though Marquez got a 26 point lead, this is not an easy
opportunity. -- Mark has got. Some noise coming from the backstage
area. It is just putting Mark Selby off. Just composing himself.
He wants a nice angle on the blue. But as you say, John, it's not
ideal. He doesn't have a great angle on the blue to go directly into the
pink and the four reds. It's gone wrong. Tried to get on
that red. Near the bottom right-hand corner pocket to open that pocket
for the black. But here overheated. Is this another plant? Surely he
won't take this on. He is looking at it. As I say, as a former world
eight ball champion, they play a lot of plants at pool, but this is a
tough one. APPLAUSE Fair play to him. I think he played
that more out of annoyance, than anything else. This looks a better
pace. And this is typical of Mark Selby, you can pick out these type
of shots. We saw that double of the red up to the green pocket, on one
of the previous frames. He is such a clever player. And he is a
shotmaker. Yes, I think that is the one thing that he is. He is a
shotmaker, that's absolutely correct. Sometimes, when it all
straightforward, we can all call the shots, but he does play some very
intelligent shots. He has got the flick. It has opened the red, but it
has made this pot, the red to the top push and, very difficult, so
close, and he had to play it with a lot of pace, you feel, to get
position on the black. This is tough. Yes, he knew. He missed the
black along the cushion if you frames ago as well, and that was a
tough pot, and particularly because of the pace he had to put into it,
he has left the chance now for Ding. Played it well, considering he was
frozen out on the frame before the mid-session interval. Just under
half an hour since the last potted a ball. That's what can happen at this
game. You've got to get your fluency back, though, immediately, when you
get the opportunity. He doesn't have to play a cannon on these three
words. The one directly above the black will pot into the bottom
right-hand corner pocket. When he pots that, I'm sure it will open up
the path for the one just to the right of it.
He is coming around to look at this red but I'm sure it pots. He wants
to leave an angle on the red so when he does pot the red he can bring the
other one into play, the one that closest to the tank. It is
imperative he gets a nice angle on this black. And he has got it, inch
perfect. Yes, and once he releases the red, it will move the other red
from below the pink, as cancers. That is the problem ball, the one
near the baulk line. It went past the yellow. That is a little hurdle
he is going to have to overcome. I suppose in an ideal world you would
pot the black and navy of the second last read you play for the yellow to
clear the path for the pocket. Bit surprised he didn't take the
pink into the vet centre there. He may be able to get on the cream
here, -- into the right centre. Straightforward, that. Trying to get
onto the green but he has left the red. What surprised me about that,
he played it with right-hand side, and the right-hand side will push
the cue ball into the red. Good long pot. Now for Mark Selby,
how do you get position on the red that on the baulk line?
Short of pace. He has got to be careful here. The cue ball looks to
be going towards the. When potting the red into the top right-hand
corner pocket, can he just miss the yellow? If he connects with the
yellow, it could go wrong. It is not too bad. He will settle
for that. This is the shot again. Just caught the yellow. He made sure
of the yellow. He was in trendy get it up past the baulk line. Of course
the yellow comes back up because it was potted after a red. Still needs
yellow and green. Oh, and he's missed frame ball yellow! Would you
believe that? Didn't see that coming. I've seen it, but I don't
believe it. Straightforward yellow. Look to be up off the shots like
these, just before he hit it. This yellow does cut into the corner
pocket, and I'm sure he could miss the pink on the way back up for the
green. He overcut the yellow, that is why
he has run into the pink. OK, Mark Selby, 23 points ahead. A yellow
would put 25 points ahead, still 25 left on the table. What do you do
here? Just pot the yellow, try and make sure of it, even though it is a
difficult enough pot? Do you play it dead weight? I prefer the safety to
be honest with you. Send the yellow back up to the baulk end. It is
missable if you play the pot. Yes, good choice. He must have hurt you.
This is becoming a big frame now. Mark Selby looked all over the
winner of it. And yet somehow Ding Junhui can take it and really hurt
Mark, missing that comparatively easy yellow to the middle. Needs a
bit of risk you, where is the yellow ball going? APPLAUSE
Would you believe it? Well, value go. I think the reason Ding Junhui
was smiling, he was more interested was the blue going to cover it, if
the yellow had stayed in the jaws, he would have been snookered by the
blue. He can't pot the green, but he can hit it, he is not snookered. He
could play a good snooker here though, back at the table, white
behind the brown. Just overhit the green slightly, but
it is still a full ball snooker. He has to swerve this. And when you
swerve like this come you don't get too much distance between cue ball
and object ball, so where is this green going to stop? Control swerve,
couldn't have played it much better than that in all honesty.
Well, this would be a brave shot if he tries to roll the green towards
the baulk cushion, cue ball behind the blue. Got to be so precise with
this. A very delicate shot, and he has played it pro well. Excellent
shot. Such a delicate shot. The cue ball could drift off. Could have
left the green all got the snooker. Now that he has the snooker, Mark
Selby with the age-old problem, it is not so much hitting the green,
can he get it safe, because if he doesn't, Ding Junhui, 21 points
behind at the moment, 25 remaining, and as I said, this would really
hurt Mark Selby if he was to lose this frame. That is the angle. Not
the connection he wanted on the green, but he has left this pot for
Ding Junhui, but is he going to play it? To try and hold for the brown.
Or is he going to try and send the cue ball up the other end of the
table? He tries to hold it. Playing it that
way, it is a much more difficult shot. What does Mark Selby do here?
Could try and double the green, cue ball behind the thing. He only needs
the cream. -- the green. He has played the snooker. Pretty good. A
bit surprised he didn't take the double on. He could have had the cue
ball down towards the green pocket. Could have used the pink as a
blocker. Yes. The this would be the one, easy to hit, he would rather
hear this two questions rather than come off the one. Can he get the
green safe? As you say, he would rather it come off the baulk
cushion, side cushion. What way do you play this, that he take the
brave approach, try to nestle on the green, or does he try to hit it hard
and hope you gets to save? I personally would hit it hard. He is
playing at the delicate way. The only problem with that, he has still
given Mark Selby the advantage to get the snooker once again behind
the pink here. Got to be careful with the green, he
has to be certain that the green is safe, OK, try and get the cue ball
behind the pink but make sure you get the green safe. That's not too
bad. Would have liked it to have been further behind the pink. Again,
it is an easy swerve of this bottom cushion. Send the greenback of the
table. -- back at the table. He needs to hit this just right to
get it safe. Needs to run. Remember Mark Selby only needs the green and
here is the chance to pot it. This green to go 22 points in front with
23 remaining. Then it goes, where's the cue ball
going? Oh! Well, his heart must have been in his mouth.
And I would suggest this would be a mightily relieved Mark Selby to get
this frame under his belt. Coming up to 34 minutes, this is the type of
frame that hurts your opponent as well, particularly when he has had a
chance, Ding Junhui. Yes. It goes on. Mark Selby goes into the lead.
Three frames to two now. The first time he has been ahead in
the semifinal. A much more nervy frame. We saw that miss cue from
Ding, and one or two mistakes creeping into Mark's game as well.
It looked like Mark Selby was just about in control all the time, it
was a really interesting frame over half an hour, but those are the type
of friends you would expect Mark Selby to win. I definitely think
these frames could be the decider, who wins this crabby ones, because
you expect Ding to score heavily and Mark Selby, when the balls are
nicely placed but these are the friends that will be massive in this
match. Mark Selby has won four major world ranking titles this season.
Only you and Ding Junhui have made five major titles on the one season.
He is world number one, and you were just chatting away about how long he
could possibly be there. This would be the sixth season. He could be
number one for another ten years as far as I'm concerned. I don't see
anyone else consistently doing well enough to compete. The likes of Judd
Trump, the women's titles, but does he do it all year long? No. Neil
Robertson is not winning the tournament he was. Ronnie as we know
doesn't play another thing. Ding possibly, but who is there? You will
dominate this game for a long time. This is the sixth season he will
finish as number one. You did it eight in a row and that was a
record. I wonder what confidence it gives you being number one in the
sport and you are out there to be shot at? What gives you confidence
is playing like he did in his last match. I was number two, I never got
to number one. But when you are winning and playing well, that is
what gives you the confidence. Let's get back, shall be?
COMMENTATOR: Interesting comments there. Yes, the confidence of being
world number one probably overrides the pressure of coming here as
defending champion, can? Yes, he came as defending champion when he
first won it, and of course the Crucible of course Peel played its
part of that. But he has come back a different player this season.
Solidified that number one position for at least another season all
possibly more. I totally agree with Stephen Hendry, he could be number
one for a long time. Stephen Hendry holds the record, eight years in a
row. He's so consistent, four tournaments this year already in the
bag. This is the big one. Not touching, looks as though it might
be, but if it had been, our referee Brendan Moore would have declared
it. If he can get through to the red on
the left-hand side of the table, but doesn't CAC 40 there. Just was it
into a cluster. As long as he judges it right, MySpace, is that touching?
Mark at the baulk end, where he wouldn't like to be.
He called a foul on himself. The play to him. I don't blame him for
that one but you would have to say fair play. Ding says maybe play it
again. Not quite sure. That is one of the great things about our sport,
even if the referee doesn't see the foul, the player will call it
himself. Yes, and in that instance, you would feel it against your
knuckle. Sometimes, if you're reaching over and your shirt is
touching the ball, you wouldn't be aware of it. But Mark was well and
truly aware of that. So Ding has got the touching ball, straight back to
the baulk end. Trying to get in behind the green. APPLAUSE
He does so nicely. You wouldn't have thought it would cause Mark Selby a
problem as the cluster is so tightly bunched.
He hopes it will be touching ball again but it's not going to be this
time. A chance for Mark Selby, that is all
they could really do, roll into the bunch and leave a touching ball. A
chance for Mark Selby to put the cue ball tight on this baulk cushion.
It looks pretty good, excellent post. Have a look at that. Set tight
on the baulk cushion, he didn't do a bad job, did he? No, welded to it.
Ding may be tempted here to play the pot on the red on the left-hand side
cushion, if he can get through to the potting angle. Trying to play
the safety but people have to cut it mighty thin. But to catch this
right. -- he will have to cut it. Foul and a miss.
Mark just quickly let out that no free ball, put it back, as soon as
the yellow moved. But, as I say come he's got to catch this very thin. If
he catches it a fraction too thick, he will kiss that red on the
left-hand side of the table. He needs to hit it this time. He
will be warned now. He will be warned now. Three misses, and you
lose the frame. It would be a very brave Ding Junhui if he plays
exactly the same shot again. Well, it begs the question, Ken, if he can
get through to this red on the left-hand side of the table, would
he be tempted to play the pot. You have the referee, warning him. I
think he's forced into taking this red that you mentioned, John. Please
don't miscue. He's left it. So it just shows you
the importance of getting that cue ball tight to the baulk cushion, and
it has forced the mistake and given this chance to mark. He has played
that nicely, purposely leaving this angle on the black. It will stand up
into the reds, he will still have the red closest to the black and to
the right pocket. Well, the cue ball is pushed through the roads. He
stand it. Really needed to stop the cue ball in there. He has got a
couple of tricky reds in the left and right middle. These are tough.
Too tough. Yes, when he went into them, he was
looking for something a lot easier than that. There is a possible pot
to the far left corner. I don't know whether Ding Junhui can play it with
an element of a shot to nothing. Doesn't matter, because he is right
in the heart of the pockets. Can't do a lot with the cue ball,
but if you just bounces it of the site, he is digging in, is he going
to make an angle? He thinks he can just get in between the yellow and
brown, and he looks to have judged that well. Yes, he's looking at
what's, after this red and a colour. It was an excellent positional shot.
A fraction too hard for the blue. More difficult pink, but the pink
gives him more chance of being on the next red.
APPLAUSE Played that nicely.
Just getting the cue ball cleaned. He can go into the pack if he
wishes, he has a nice angle. All he can just hold for the red.
He held for the two reds. The one of the pack of roads.
This is normally where he's so good, stunning and screwing around the
reds. Just looking for an odyssey straight on the pink. Looking if the
runs through, whether he can make an angle on the red that is closest to
the people. -- to the cue ball. Yes, played nicely. Obviously would like
to be straighter to this red to the left corner. Going to play a
delicate little positional shot. Lots of left-hand side, trying to
play for the black in the same corner. No, played it with a lot of
right-hand side, and could not played better. Believe me, on
superfine cloth, playing it with that much right-hand side.
Beautifully played. Took the opportunity to go into the reds.
Another 36 points from this position will see him get to the snookers
required stage. Quite wonderful to watch Ding, when
he is making breaks around the pink and black. Lovely delicate shots,
little cannons. Developing reds. Quite an art.
The red immediately above the black is available to the same pocket as
the black. Just running off the top cushion for that red. Well, if you
are being picky, a bit careless. Just a bit short, could have run up
the table another six inches. Running into other raids, has to be
careful. Got to be careful. And he has lost the cue ball slightly. Can
he hold it? Or will he go up and down the table? He will try and hold
it. No, not there. As you said, John, not the shot, the previous
shot, to get on that red. That caused the problem.
Trying to swing the cue ball over to the reds on the left-hand side of
the table. 32 points behind, plenty remaining.
Any colour will do of these reds. The one tight to the pink is not an
impossible position at the moment. -- in a position to be potted.
Getting down pretty quick, must be happy with the angle on this black.
Does not look perfect to me. Good shot, forcing it in, he will be very
badly hampered. Dear me, step ladders, Orange boxes. How do you
reach this one? He's a tall lad, Mark, still will not be able to
reach it. I don't suppose, with all the
extensions we have today, not many shots which are unplayable. This is.
Certainly would be for me! Once again, you don't expect a player to
miss easy pots, he just lost control of the cue ball, as Ding did in the
previous visit. Once it nestled on that red, impossible to play.
He missed one, John! Yes, this is an important long pot for Ding Junhui.
At the moment he is down at 29% long pots success. Only two out of seven.
Needs one here. Something catching his eye. Appears
to have been a bit of movement in different places. Just gone to the
one-table situation, not everyone is comfortable. This is a very
important shot he has here. Is he on the black? He is on it, but he
cannot pot it. Just a snooker. He will be disappointed here.
Remember he could put that cue ball anywhere he liked in the D. Good
shot, from Mark. Hitting that red exactly has he played.
He has looked at the scoreboard, 21 points in front. Will he be tempted
to play this red into the far corner? The modern-day player
surprises me with a lot of the shots they go for. Looks like we'll play
safe. He may have purposely knocked the blue safe. Could be a clever
shark. If Mark Selby did get a chance, he has a problem with the
blue. Good thinking, young man. Certainly a clever shark, if he did
mean it. He did have a look at the scoreboards. The blue safe is to his
advantage. Could be a bit of trouble, the cue
ball behind the blue. Could knock the red up the table. Yet in the
baulk cushion, behind brown Green. If he had the angle to push the red
pass the blue, the cue ball rolling behind it, he would do. If he cannot
do that, could target green and brown hair.
Wonderful shot. Very nicely judged. I mentioned it earlier, Ken, this
seems to me as the year has gone on, he is learning more ring craft, when
it comes to these tactical exchanges. Hitting the red, but
leaving a thin cut. To win it. He will need the red that is tight to
the pink. That was a surprise. Yes.
Disappointed to have missed that. If the pots it, even if he doesn't get
on the colour, rolling up to the baulk colours, how difficult the
snooker would have been to get out of. Mark taking this red run, he
feels there is plenty of value in it.
Don't blame him for taking it on, it was a long pot, but only a fraction
out, to be fair. Not desperate to get on the colour here. Would like
to be on the colour, he is on the brown. As I say, if he could nestle
up to one of the baulk colours, what a snooker this would be. Leaving
himself a possible position on the brown. I see no reason not to come
up. If he did get parallel with the red, could play his own snooker
behind the pink. He has a nice angle on the brown, if he wishes, to go
off the side cushion, just before the middle pocket. Try to cannon
into the pink and red. Seize the moment, would not disagree with that
idea. That is the angle. He also has the blue, as a bit of insurance
policy. Reluctant to play the brown, if he does not Mr Cannon on the pink
and red, he will have to play against a to shot. That is why he is
thinking about playing the snooker. Mark Selby is so good at getting out
of sneakers, not guaranteed to get a lot of points out of it. Looks like
a stunning off, to get in behind the green. He thinks he has put the
brand safe, leaving it in such a way that Mark will have to play with
left and right hand side. No matter how he hits the red, it will stay
the middle of the table. He needs to hit this something like water ball.
22 points are in it. Ding Junhui needs red and black, and red and
pink. Needs to play the two cushion escape with pace. Could hit it with
portable. Hitting it to fall. When you hit bid to fall, normally I
would say, you leave the red. Don't think he has. In the respect that if
Ding Junhui laid it to the left corner, or the left middle, the
possibility of going in off. Difficult enough pot, but as you
said, the middle pocket may be on the way. Not sure whether he can pot
the red into the middle centre, coming off the top cushion, on the
black. That may be an option. He did not play the pot there. He
has and underhit it. Did not play the pot, because the in off was on.
Now he has the blue and brand safe. Glad he did. This is half a chance
for Mark Selby. But he has it all to do. The black will put in 14 points
behind. He would need the six remaining colours. A tall order.
The cue ball would be naturally going up to the yellow. Needs to
make sure the pot. Where is the cue ball for the yellow? Overrunning its
likely for the right centre, but not too bad. Straight enough yellow to
the bottom right corner pocket. He will be on the green.
Good pot. Coming around to look at the brown. The fact it is so tight
to the cushion, cannot pot the brown, getting on the blue. Coming
around, potting the green, trying to leave a snooker up the table. Cue
ball behind the pink. The reason he is playing that, because there is no
chance of him potting the green and getting on the brown to get on the
blue. Type of matchplay sneaker he is so did. Back in the frame. Nine
points behind. If he can leave the cue ball somewhere where the brown
is now, move the brown at the table anywhere, should be OK.
Wanted it to have a little bit more pace. Easy swerve. Important in John
Wayne hits this brown, because if he does not, then Marked just needs
brown, blue and pink. This frame just over 30 minutes, the last 134
minutes. Very tense out there. -- the last one, 34 minutes. Could not
have hit that better. He has got the snooker. He has had to apologise.
There may be a thin edge of the brown sticking out. That is no good
to mark. If the hits that the right edge, he will knock the brown to the
right corner. That's why he is looking to come off the side
cushion. Does it reach? Wonderful. Touching ball. Wow! That is hard to
believe. The last thing he wanted, touching ball. Easy snooker behind
the blue now, you would have thought. Maybe he might be better
taking the blue after cushion. He needs the brown and the blue. Easy
snooker. Unless he is tight to the blue. Good shot. He will need that
blue, unless he gets a lot of points from the snooker. The missing rule
may encourage players to play this kind of shot at the end of the
frame. This is not easy to hit. He knows his way around the table so
well, very hard to get points from sneakers from Mark Selby. This one
is a little wide. He will be sure to hit its second time round. Ding
Junhui definitely has the upper hand for now. Needs to hit it this time.
Otherwise he only needs the brown. He has missed it again. Now Ding
Junhui is 17 points in front, 22 remaining. Only needs the brown.
Mark could hit this and leave the brown on, quite easily. He has hit
at this time, will he leave it on. Not quite. He will be snookered,
next time he comes to the table. Needs to get the brown into the
middle of the table, up to the Bulgarian somewhere. Try not to keep
it close to if possible. Very fortunate there. Very fortunate. He
has brought the blue into play, did not want that. He only needs the
brown. A full ball snooker. 17 behind.
The fact that Mark is having a look at this, looking at the scoreboard.
Yes, can Mr brown, and still able to win. Amis will be called. The fact
he's not playing it straightaway means he cannot get past the little
pocket. Trying to swerve. To get the angle to hit the brown. Can he get
it safe? He has got it safe. Could not played that any better.
Beautiful shot. Wonderful shot. Now this game will rest on the brown,
you would feel. Looks as though Ding Junhui can only
get to the right-hand side of the brown, as he looks. As to be careful
here. Trying to get the snooker with the pink. Looks to have played
reasonably well. Straightforward side cushion.
Straightforward to hit the brown of the side cushion. That is the angle,
wanting to hit it full ball, so the brown comes off the opposite side
cushion, resting somewhere on the bottom cushion near the black. Just
resting it on the other cushion. Very well play. Great weight of
shot. Thought he was going to hit it harder, off the side cushion down
towards the black. It is pressure now. Ding Junhui made a big mistake.
That is why there is pressure on the safety shots. Just content to tuck
it behind the black. I tell you what, could not played much better.
That is brilliant. Mark Hurd a quick glance up to the balcony where his
supporters are, saying how can anyone play that? But he did. There
is is wife, Vicki in the middle. Good friend of his. Bobby, his close
friend. Travels with him. He looks more under pressure than Mark. He
has the outside edge of this brown. Very brave man to play that shot.
Could hit the black, and the need is sneaker. Worse, if you missed it, he
would leave a free ball. As you said, leaves the free ball.
That is end of frame, you would feel. 21 points the difference. The
blue counts as four. Now Mark Selby needs a snooker, he has not hit this
too well. Just about on the brown. In goes the brown, that will be the
end of the frame. The longest frame either player has been involved in
in the tournament so far. He flicks the blue, but the frame was over
before then. Two tight, Titanic frames. They have been shared. Mark
Selby will not come back to the table. It is a frame that Ding
Junhui did really well to win. Laid Mark Selby of his own game.
STUDIO: Nearly 39 minutes, and 34 the one before then. Mark Selby
never leaves a pot one. What were the chances of him getting out of
that one with a win? When he had the reds stuck behind a thing, he were
snookered, blue and brown on the cushions. He thought he had a 10%
chance of winning the frame. His Nat Tilly Macca matchplay, getting out
of sneakers was fantastic. Ding moved the blue inadvertently offered
vision, a bad move. Only the shop that Ding played getting behind the
black. Anywhere else on the table, leaving the edge, it would have gone
in. A master in frames he does not look like winning, gives is of a
chance. Ding realises, to beat this guy, he will have to survive frames
like that. To be fair to Ding he outplayed Mark in the safety
department. He had complete control for the last 15, 20 minutes. Always
have the upper hand, always the aggressor. Playing snooker 's.
Important for him to win those types of frames. -- playing sneakers.
Keeping the blue safe on the side rail was key to it. Very clever, he
had two reds, could have played anywhere down the baulk area. Could
not ready player safety. Just clipping off it, cannoning the blue.
Putting it on the cushion, clever shot. Interesting change of pace.
The first four frames were bang, bang. Slowed up, very intriguing.
Yes, always going to get frames like this. The first four, maybe we were
spoiled a bit, the way they were going. Big visits. It will get more
cagey as long as it is level scoring. I was going to say, what
happens in games like this. When two people are adept at safety, making
responses to each other you get frames like that. Back we go to the
penultimate of the opening session. COMMENTATOR: Yes, the first four
frames, we were averaging just over 60 minutes a frame the last two
frames, the last one was nearly 32 minutes. The average frame time now
is just over 23 minutes. -- the first four frames we were averaging
just over 16 minutes a frame. But I agree, I think it is just the
good safety that is being played that is making these frames look a
bit more drawn out than the quality of play deserves.
He tried to play that with a lot of top spin. And after winning an
elongated previous frame, the worst thing you want to do is give your
opponent and easy start on the next. A bit of a cutback from this lack
here. Oh. He didn't play that previous red
too well. But, Ken, Hanley times do we sit, the first four frames either
player gets a chance, they would win the frame. Now we have had a couple
of long, drawn-out frames, it seems to have taken the edge off the
potting. It can happen. Yes, it can happen, your concentration can get a
little tired, a bit weary. A good chance if he can knock this one into
the far left corner. APPLAUSE Never a doubt. Profiting from a
mistake from Tim one, it only cost him 1.4 is that what can he make for
Mark Selby's error? A couple of reds to go at here. The loose one, that
is the one he has got on. At the red, just the right of the pink, as
well. Coming round to have a look at this red come on the right-hand side
is that pot into the corner pocket. Just to drop in for the black here.
That is the red he was looking at, so he can try to get on that red. If
he is not on it nice, there is a red above it on the left centre, as
well. Not quite certain if the pink spot
is available. If it's not, well, it is, obviously. That is why he played
the threw off the side cushion. Still in good position.
Ding will typically take the loose threads before he contemplates going
into the pack. He has a nice angle now but I don't think he will go
into the pack of roads here. He is a master at just picking off the loose
threads and then choosing the right time to go into the pack. Yes, and
the way the reds are situated commie would probably prefer to go into
them off the blue. The pink just separating slightly, so if he was
going to play the cannon, which is the normal way of doing it, cannon
kit full in the face, he has to catch the pink full in the face,
otherwise you can always risk going in off one of the callers. See no
reason why he shouldn't play one of the tenancy. Didn't catch the pink
full in the face. He is not perfect, by any means. He only caught a
quarter ball. Tough red along the cushion. Can he get past the black
to cut the spun back into the corner? I think he can. But he won't
have much control of the cue ball. So if he goes for it, he needs to
get it. The one that is closest to the top cushion, well, he would have
to play it with pace, and makes it very missable.
Good pots. He has found the gap between yellow and brown. Nicely
onto the blue as well in this corner right-hand pocket. It was imperative
he didn't kiss into any of the baulk colours. You can drop the blue in.
It looks pretty straight. Just getting the cue ball cleaned. He has
a choice, green into the top corner pocket. Just drop it in and take the
red, left of the black. Just checking whether he can push
the cue through enough. He is at full stretch. This is dangerous to
play it like this. Well, he has made it. Rather that, than use the rest.
Just the pace as well, if it had been any harder. Have a look at this
again. Any harder and I don't think that blue would have gone. It was a
little bit wired. But I still think the pink spot is
available. He is only looking for another 24 points from this
situation but I don't think it is obvious, because there are two roads
on either cluster of that five. One to the left corner, want of a right
corner, but when the pink goes on its spot, they will not be
available. He does have the angle on the pink to try to nudge onto the
red and try to develop them. He tried to play a delicate little
screw shot just past that read. Does keeping go? -- now where does the
pink go. It was a delicate little shot between the pink spot and that
would you spoke about, John. You have to be very precise.
He has got a 49 point lead. But there is still a possible 83
remaining, so plenty of snooker left in this frame.
Well, that is probably the most careless shot I've seen Mark play
for quite a while. We'll watch again as he gets the double-kiss, the only
think he tried to just send it up and misjudged it. Fortunately for
Mark, the cue ball has gone prior to the cushion. Beware the left middle
pocket here. It is going to go very close. Beware the left middle
pocket. He's OK. That is what he was frightened of, and that is why he
played it so slowly. If he had played it a little bit harder, that
cue ball could have swung a little bit wider, so he needs a good shot
on the blue. I know he is already on the baulk end, but he can't just
role in this blue and be on it, I don't think. Well, he deserves that,
he deserves that, because to play that with pace, as he did, he made
it a very tough pot, and he has adjusted to absolute perfection. A
cluster of five make it 67 points remaining, the ones between the pink
and black. That now puts him 56 points in front. There is a red at
the bottom. Straight on the blue. He can play for that one. Blue right
into the heart of the pocket. How has he judged the pace? He looks to
have judged it to perfection. 61 points is the lead. Red and the pink
to go 68 ahead with only 59 remaining.
He will have to play the pink into the far right corner. No heroics
here. He has glanced at the scoreboard. He knows if he goes 68
points in front, Mark Selby will need a snooker. I'm amazed. I am
absolutely amazed. Well, no, why should I be amazed? I got the score
wrong, sorry. 62 points, the lead. 59 remaining. The new better than
me. That is why he is there and we are here, Ken. Speak for yourself,
John. I give the Royal we, sorry. That will secure the frame. APPLAUSE
Good pots. I'm sorry we all make mistakes, that
is why they put rubbers on the ends of pencils.
I'm still a bit surprised that he didn't take the pink. Maybe he is
playing Mark Selby at his own game. It is something Mark Selby would
have done as well. He's not afraid to mix it with him. Yeah, if he had
potted the pink, there is no way Mark Selby would have carried on,
but putting the yellow safe, Mark was encouraged because he only
needed one snooker. Anyway, it is of little elephants now. One more -- it
is of little relevance. He has played in four sessions. Oh,
wonderful. Every session is your goal or your aim is to win it. Yes.
A big frame coming up for both players stop yes, you try to win the
first mini-session but if you can finish the first session with a
lead, and Ding Junhui will have the opportunity to do that now, that
would have been in his target, starting out in the semifinal. Not
much between both players. We have had a couple of slow frames, but
generally it has been high-quality. If APPLAUSE
Nice 56 from Ding Junhui. He goes into the lead, yet again. He leads
the world number one and defending world champion by four frames to
three now. As you can see there is a lot more
room now with the one table, so there is a lot more room to place
you can brush up on your skills for stuff I have learned a thing or two,
so come down and get involved. There are coaches on hand to give you some
red-hot tips on improving your game, and you can also add your questions
answered on how to get involved in snooker. The tables and coaches will
be here right up until Monday's final. Come and have a go on a
professional snooker table. You never know, you could end about the
World Championships next year. That could be something. If you
cannot get to Sheffield and the Winter Gardens, but keep following
it here on the BBC. I noticed that somebody who is a bit of a snooker
fan, a snooker and can you might say, this is Nick, peanut Baines,
the keyboard player for the Kaiser Chiefs. He has been part of the
crowd here before. An appreciative audience and we are an appreciative
audience in here. This has got all the hallmarks of a classic, but a
very clever frame again from Ding Junhui. He is playing really good
hard matchplay. Unusually for Mark, he has made a couple of mistakes,
certainly the red with the double-kiss. But I am very impressed
with his application. Mark Selby looked like he was close to
absolutely buzzing. Last year in the first session of the final, Ding
went out to - six behind in the first session. He has a chance to go
ahead. That would be massive for him. He is so impressive, his
desertion of play has been brilliant. If you are looking for
ways that Ding is better than Mark Selby, I think his cue ball
controllers just that little bit better, especially anywhere around
the pink and black. The safety has been so good from Ding as well.
Sometimes it looks almost simplistic, is that good at it. So
you don't fully appreciate it, unless you play the game and you are
thinking, how good was that under the cosh? As you say, it is so good
it just makes it look easier than it is. He seldom leaves and self a
difficult shot out there. This is the last of the opening session.
COMMENTATOR: It is Mark Selby that gets the final frame of the first
session underway. Good rake off. It is the type of pot that you take
on, thinking there was no good safety. This match played over four
sessions to make up the 43 -- to make up the 33, three sessions of
eight, and then the nine, if needed, in the fourth session. So a long way
to go, but I think what has been evident here, the first frame Mark
Selby look as cool as a cucumber, like he wasn't going to make any
mistakes whatsoever. Now he looks a little bit ruffled. Ding has been
giving as good as he gets. Yeah, you can see a slight bit of a
momentum shift for Ding. He has been very composed over the last few
frames, or since he went behind. Mark Selby, particularly that last
shot, the double-kiss that cost Mark Selby the frame. It is not often you
would see him make such a blatant error, you know?
Touching ball, so if you fire away you are deemed to have hit the red
your touching. It doesn't mean to say you can't hit another red, of
course. Another good line, and a good length. The only thing I would
say with a situation like that, there is not much chance of Mark
Selby leaving anything on. Well, he is going to give six point way and
he will leave a read on. Popa would you believe that? That is amazing.
He does look a little bit ruffled, all right. I was just on the verge
of saying I would love has a -- rather have a good cue ball welded
to the cushion. So he's going to have to sit there
now, and who held many in points - and regret how money points that has
crossed. Straight into them. He will be unlucky not to do well. That was
very positive, and boy, did he play that well? Yes, didn't want to hit
the thing that time, just wanted to hit the red to the left of the pink,
as we look. And he played it to perfection.
The pink is available, as well as the blue here, and of course the
black is available into the right corner pocket. May come down for the
red closest to this bottom cushion, beneath the black. Just to free up
the black into both corner pockets. Yes, I'm certain that is the red he
would like to get on. He would have liked to have been a bit straighter
on the blue, but this is a good positional shot, here. And he's
played it. He's played it. Yeah. That's the beauty of brick building
community of yourself options, and when this red goes in, he will try
to Venice frame from this position, opening up as Stephen century ton
Hendry said, his cue ball controllers just that bit better
than Mark Selby in these opening exchanges.
48 points from disposition to get to the snookers required stage and take
a two frame advantage into the second session tomorrow. He does
have the angle to go into the two reds, right above the black. That's
what he's looking at, and I'm sure the top right of those two we are
looking at goes into the bottom corner pocket. That's OK. He has
driven it through them, purposely, because if he had just played the
normal cannon, OK, he would have been on the left hand of those two
reds that are still there, but he would be going away from the black,
and so that is why he forced it through. When it comes to, as I said
earlier, even around the pink and black spot area, he has got some
lovely moves. He has just got a wonderful touch.
He makes the breaks look so easy because of the position of the cue
ball. When you watch where he puts the cue ball, it is no more than six
or eight inches from the next ball. Well, they say that the best breaks
are the ones where people say, well I could have potted that. Well, the
reason is because he keeps leaving himself inch perfect, and nice
angles on every ball. There you see, straight on that, so he can roll it
in, leave a nice angle on the black. This is a big frame, though. Two
frame advantage. He will consider it a good afternoon's work.
You see 50 ahead, but it all came from that split. He hit the blue. He
couldn't go into the pink this time, he had to hit the red full ball.
Just look at the reds, how they opened up beautifully. Excellent
shot. Just a little bit hampered here by
the pink, but I think he only has to roll the red in to get position on
the black, so he doesn't have to do too much with the cue ball.
Yeah, we were talking at the start of the match with Hazel in the
commentary box, Ken, how would you feel after beating Ronnie O'Sullivan
in the last match. Gary Goldwyn, remember we used to go around with
Tim one a lot, in China it was always -- with Ding Junhui a lot, in
China it was always looked upon, could he beat Ronnie O'Sullivan? We
looked at the head-to-heads before he beat yesterday, and it was 10-2
to Ronnie, and the fact he has now beaten Ronnie has proven to
everybody that he is capable of beating anyone in the game. And I
think he is taking that confidence into this. APPLAUSE
The applause tells you that is the point where Mark Selby needs
snookers. It wasn't just beating Ronnie, but beating him here at the
World Championships as well, over the best of 25 frames. And Ronnie
playing well. Yeah. Let's. Forget that. We were a little bit
concerned, would he have a slight hangover from that win? It would be
hard to get himself back up for this match this afternoon, but he looks
well up for it. Another wonderful positional shot,
to find the gap between those reds. No affect on him, if anything,
giving him the air of confidence. This will be a cracking semifinal.
Ding will have a slight initiative, but I'm sure Mark Selby will be
coming back at him. I think we are in for a wonderful semifinal between
both players, playing at the top of their game.
Good shot, he is on the red. Already made nine century breaks so far in
the tournament. Free-macro in each match he has played. The only thing
we have missed this afternoon is a century. Not missing that now.
Wonderful. 63rd century break of the tournament
so far. 86 is the record. Another lovely shot. Not only yellow. He
will end on 110. Very pleased with his
afternoon's work. Ding Junhui is a 5-3 lead over the defending
champion, Mark Selby. Plenty to think about. Didn't Don John we'd do
well? STUDIO: A tenth century of the
championship, last year he made 15. He made seven against Alan McManus
in the semifinal last year. What a run of scoring, century, 350s, a 70.
From Mark Selby, 68 and a 99. Ding would not wanted that session to
end? Absolutely not, by far on top for the last three frames, are
playing the world number one. Deserving the scoreline. I have seen
him play a lot over the years, making century break. Not seen him
compete as well. Everybody turned up the championship, the top 30
players, they can all play. But can you compete? That is what he has
done. Brilliant session. There is an air of confidence, as Ken Dougherty
talked about. And air of certainty. He seems to have grown in the last
few hours. You cannot underestimate beating Ronnie O'Sullivan. I did not
think he could beat Ronnie. His weakness has been his mental
strength over the top players in long matches. He proved me, and
others, well not everybody, wrong. I said I could not see reason why
would Mark Selby would not win the World Championship. I can now. His
biggest asset, his cue ball control, Savage scoring, that may be the
reason. A sense of alarm, maybe concern, at the way that Mark
started match. What will concern, the last time they play the final in
China, it was 10-1, to Mark. Ding did not try, once he got behind.
Mark Selby looking at this today, thinking it
is a animal. In the Shanghai Masters, he did get the better of
him, 10,000 six. Really interesting, they are meeting in the biggest
occasions, the last three times they have met, they having finals. The
way Selby played yesterday, I compensated, unbelievable session of
snooker to finish Marco Fu. It will be a massive shock to the system
losing by three. Everything he touched turned to gold yesterday. At
the start of the match, he was walking around like owned the place.
That is when it comes as a shock, when you are playing as well as he
can. At the end of it, only one winner. That was the 63rd century of
the championship. 24 required to break the record. It is going to be
close. Is it achievable? You are needing John the final, the final,
the way he scores. Anyway, that is what we need, 24. It was 86 in 2016.
Already pretty great scoring here. 24 required, you never know. Now our
thoughts turn to the second of the semifinals. John Higgins against
Barry Hawkins. This could be a really interesting one. John has not
been in the one table format here at the Crucible since he last won the
fourth of his victory is in the World Championship in 2011. A long
way. The man he is playing, Barry Hawkins, an old hand at this setup.
This is his fourth appearance in the semifinals in the last five years.
They will both emerge from backstage at seven o'clock tonight. A great
occasion, I have been watching it since I was a young boy on the TV.
Dreams are playing at the Crucible, now I am on the one-table set-up
again. If you don't enjoy that occasion, might as well put the cue
away. John has played some great stuff, I need to be a lot my game to
be in with a shout. To be back of the one-table set-up, no place like
it at the Crucible. One table. Just delighted. 2011 was the last time,
you think are you ever going to get there again, to sample it? Luckily
enough I am here. Hoping to go one better, to get into the final. He a
proper legend of the now. Playing some brilliant stuff the last couple
of years. When he's playing well, you need to play perfect snooker to
beat him. Great champion, great bloke as well. He has become such a
tough player. He was before, but I think it was mentally that letting
down a bit. He felt he did not belong on the same stage as
O'Sullivan, Selby. Now he knows he belongs there. Such a tough player.
It is a matter of taking my chances when they come along. I will need to
score a heavy, to win frames in one visit. If it gets to nitty-gritty,
tactical side of it, John is so good. It will take a lot of energy
to keep winning frames like that. I need to be clinical, really. So over
the moon I will be competing here for the next three days in the
one-table set-up, no place like it. Cannot wait, cannot wait to get out
there. He has had a very long way to get out there. Six years to get back
into the one table format here. This is the head to head. 5-2, in John
Higgins' favour. If you include some of the lesser championship league
matches. 7-7. Only ever met in one long format match, right here at the
World Championship in the first round. John Higgins, 10-6. Not a
huge amount to go on, as far as this one is concerned. They are very well
matched up, as they play the game. Both exceptional match players.
Semifinals stages. Ding is a scorer, cannot be a matchplay. The other
three great match players. 7-7. I expect this to be a great match.
Both their matches matchup, they can play safely, they can score, tough
to pick a winner. Last time John Guptill semifinal and did not go one
to win the title, 2001 aged 26. 3-3 since then. Interesting, John looks
like a teenager again, the way he's looking forward to the one-table
situation. The older players, they get inspired by playing here. John
will be inspired coming out here tonight, playing at this venue
camellias missed it the like. I expect him to fly. What about the
scoring? Barry Hawkins making 1350 plus. John Higgins 25. Five
centuries, to Barry's two. Is that a factor? I would say the winner will
come from who makes the most unfazed errors. The scoring will be very
heavy. As I say, I think John, something about him in this
championship. What is it? Seems to have renewed enthusiasm. And hunger.
Obviously winning two great events in the middle of the season.
Invitation events. He looks so relaxed, enjoying it. You will be so
inspired coming out of. This is a place to play snooker. He thought it
might be his last semifinal, now back again. We heard him say he
cannot wait to get back out there. This morning came after a little
look around. Not acquainted himself with this for six years. Coffee in
hand, getting back out there. Long way. Adjusting the distance he has
to walk. Trying to calculate. Only two steps, now a lot more. He is an
old fellow, now 42. Trying to become the oldest winner since Ray Reardon,
he was 46. There has not been a winner in his 40s since Ray Reardon.
He has technically got better. Rediscovered the middle of the
white. Long game is miles better. He had lost that for a couple of
seasons. It is debilitating to a snooker player when you're not
knocking long balls in. His matchplay is unquestioned. I don't
think anyone in the tournament would have beaten Mark Allen, the way you
play. He played fantastic. Higgins played better. He has beaten Martin
Gold, the best of the qualifiers. Incredible match against Mark Allen.
Then Cairo will son, who suffered a bit of ill luck with the tip
problem. Going back to the Mark Allen match, for me, the two
clearances he a huge statement of intent. Very much so. John is a
heavy scorer. One of his biggest attributes in his career has been
pinching frames at vital times. Doing it better than anyone has ever
done. Barry Hawkins, Tom Ford, Graeme Dott, 13-6. He was relentless
in that second session. The scoring statistic, he has had two rock-hard
matchplay. You don't get anything easy with Graeme Dott, certainly not
with Stephen McGuire. I don't read too much into the way they're been
scoring. Different matches. Good matchup. It has been a very eventful
afternoon. Some up in one word Ding's played. Does not have to be
one word. Awesome. For Selby, what will he do differently in the next
session? He will come at the same way, same preparation. No reason to
panic. We will return in the evening at seven o'clock with the first
session of the second semifinal. We are taking a modest rate of just
over two hours. We will refuel, fresh, ready to give again at seven
o'clock. Cheers. Goodbye.