Browse content similar to Day 15, Semi-Finals, Afternoon Session - Pt 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Good afternoon. We know there are walls waiting to be painted, shelves
and begging to be put up and Gardens longing for some TLC. Let them wait.
This weekend is all about invents indoors here at the Crucible
Theatre. We are about to find out who will stride force into our
final. Things are not pretty but John Higgins is somehow finding a
way in his semifinal. He is inching towards a sixth world final. Barry
Hawkins cannot seem to get going. He has banned chance after chance with
Higgins therefore the taking. Mark Selby has thrown everything at his
opponent in the other semifinal. Ding Junhui will not be broken. They
resume at 12 frames appease afterword the greater sessions we
have ever seen in 40 years here. We will introduce you to the tournament
director, if he can stay still for long enough. You can send in your
questions and videos. We will look at those, picked the best ones for
the day and we will try to make your snooker game better. If you were up
early this morning for the full life experience from the Crucible at
10am, well done to you. The first four frames between Barry Hawkins
and John Higgins will have done nothing to seize any sore heads. It
was painful stuff. Nevertheless compelling forgiven what is at
stake. John Higgins helped the four frame advantage at 10-6. He is
searching for the magic ingredient that will bring back the emphatic
form. Barry Hawkins chasing the game but it has been a curiously
tentative performance from the Hawk. Bwemmy left at midday on BBC Two,
Hawkins had fallen six frames behind, trailing 13-7. Higgins is
eyeing an early finish. He needs all four remaining frames to book his
place in a sixth Crucible final. Settle down. Harry Hawkins to break.
-- Barry. This is a much better break off from Barry Hawkins. He has
made a few poor break of shots so far in this session. That was
better. Well, that good break of shots from
Barry Hawkins has left himself with a chance here. John did not return a
good safety. These are what you call confidence boosters. You must start
knocking these in. It will be tough for Barry. 13-7
behind. It really is. He is usually so good at that type of shot.
What Barry has to do is win at least one frame of this last four to take
the match into the final session tonight. John Higgins could get a
night off which maybe he would like. He would not mind that at all. I has
had -- have had a text from Les in Southport. He told me John was there
last night. He drove to Southport. John was in his club knocking balls
around at one o'clock this morning. He has had to drive back to
Sheffield. That is probably why he is looking a little bit tired. Just
over five hours there and back. He may be thought he pushed it
there. He called the push himself. He was trying a little shot where
you deliberately miscues so you do not push it. The referee would never
have spotted that. But Barry... He is trying to miscue and he felt that
he pushed it slightly. He will play it again. Yeah, that was OK. Surely
they can get off this thread and get the cue ball back near the yellow or
something like that. -- this red. Well, what was that! He hit that so
hard and has left them read on. That has baffled him, that last shot. --
left the red on. Aid to refit reception for that long
pot. The Crucible crowd would like to see a bit of a comeback. -- a
terrific reception. Stunned it into the reds rather than screw it.
Played it to perfection. If he screwed that, he would have
stuck into the back of the reds. You have to hit it half ball and not
full. He could not have played it better. He needs to give himself a
little bit of competence. -- confidence and
He has done that so often this match. Finishing straight on the
black. Another three or four inches of pace, it does not matter. As long
as your hand is on the table, the black is unmissable. He would have
loved to have gone into the bunch went knowing there is a break off
over the middle pocket. -- a red over the middle pocket.
Just looking at the bunch, in a couple of shots time, he will
probably play for the green. That suggests the red with a nice angle
on the green. From the blue, the pink is in the way. Definitely worth
playing on the green here. Has he gone far enough across? He
can still pot the green right-hand side. If he misses the pink but he
can open the reds up. He has hit the pink and that has spoiled things.
Did not quite get the cannon, as he intended.
Yes, he called a shot at the previous visit when Barry Hawkins
was playing the green into the reds. This is the line you would expect
him to take. That is what he was trying and he caught the pink.
He is playing the safety shot that saying, just maybe, I might be able
to knock a plant in as well. I suppose he would call it a plant to
nothing. No. Just the safety. He did look at the plant but he has a good
one. It is in behind the yellow by the look of things.
Left a tempter into the middle. If he can find a way to play it as a
shock to nothing he will take it on. Otherwise he will go safe.
He can get through to the one that is comfortable, to the right of the
blue. If this one cuts, he will definitely take it on.
Barry Hawkins comes to the table 29 points in front. An easy read
start-up of the couple of the reds are available into the corner
pockets. -- and easy red. Now, he has been finishing straight
on a lot of blacks. He will have some sort of shot to play on into
the bunch. Bringing that through quite a long way. If he gets nicely
on one in the middle it will open another read -- red up.
That last shot on the break off and into the middle was a terrific shot.
At that angle, to pot at that pace was top class. -- that last shot on
the red and into the middle. He is the only player that does that. Now
the cannon into the right side of the reds. The two reds near the pink
will open everything up. He played beautifully.
Absolutely spot-on. You do not get a better split than that. This will
make Barry feel a bit better. I will tell you what. That will not
make him feel very good. That was a relapse in concentration. What a
time to miss an easy pot! Looking at that, I think the pink
lifted. It seemed to jump a little bit.
Let's have another look at this in slow motion. I am sure the pink
jumped here. It did a little bit. Maybe we are doing Barry and
injustice. 51 points behind as we speak. In
normal circumstances we would be saying it is a great chance for John
Higgins to pinch the frame. I'm not sure either parents playing well
enough to do that at the moment will stop -- either player is playing
well enough to do that at the moment.
He almost missed the pot. That is why he flicked the black.
He will take that. He is still getting used to the new tip. Five
and a half hour drive to Southport his good friend, Les Dodd, to put a
new tip on and practice. Then the drive back. It is not like a tennis
racket where you can just pick another one up.
What a steal this would be! It will not be straightforward. As John has
a look around, he is 28 behind. You would think it would all be about
blue to pink. If he gets that far. That is amazing. He has overrun by
five or six inches. I am not saying he is going to miss the green but I
would rather him play the blue to get onto the yellow than the green
at distance. Anything but straight is fine.
Another couple of inches would have been fine. He looked a little bit
down on himself. He did not get a good angle on the green.
He has an angle to come off the top cushion. He could leave it for the
corner. He must be so precise here. A bit too much side on it. A
misjudgement. That is the new tip. That shot is the natural shot when
you are used to the tip. That means he has not had enough time with this
tip to judge that shot was not that shot he would definitely have played
where Dennis said. That was a strange shot. I agree
with the run-off. Barry could play this as a pot. Get the white tight
on the baulk cushion. I wonder if he will take it on. He is not playing
it. He is playing safe. He has played it well. It needs to bounce.
It needs to balance. It has not stop this will cut. He is just looking up
and back at the table. He knows John can sneak the pink in and the White
will come automatically to the black.
It is there by way of the cue ball. It will be a tough black, a very
tough black. It is 14-7. The four-time former
world champion has pinched that frame from Barry Hawkins. As I say,
it is now 14-7. The 22nd frame. John Higgins to
break. He left one in the middle which he
will be taking on. Might be worth a double here for
Barry. The free shots will be on the black. Wouldn't leave a great deal.
John now has a seven frame advantage. He might be tempted with
the red. The white will be going towards the green for them he will
be going towards the red which is right middle pocket.
A prolonged round of applause. He had a little bit of help from the
green. And now, one good angle probably on the yellow here and he
can go right into the bunch. Could be a good chance in a couple of
shots time. Played for the blue. Same thing. Into the pink full ball.
Make sure there are no plants on. I don't think those two reds will go
near the black so it hasn't worked out perfectly for John. And now that
the bloom is up next to the pink, the red into the middle pocket... --
the blue is next to the pink. Not quite full ball but he was still
unlucky not to drop on one. He is going to take this up into the
corner and played for the black, it is a bit of a freak shot. APPLAUSE
-- a free shot. Perfectly played. He is growing in confidence now, as he
should do with a seven frame advantage. Playing a little flick
off the red to open those two up just by the black. He has got second
prize, pushed one over the middle pocket but he didn't play for it. He
did open the two reds to the right of the black and there is a gap
between them so he will be playing up for a baulk colour.
You can tell by the shots he is playing, he is not anywhere near
used to his tip but he is somehow 4-1 up in this session.
Has it come far enough for the straight one or will he have to take
the one closest to the black? It is the one closest, it shouldn't be a
problem, a nice little stone shot. -- stun shot.
It is not always essential to break into the pack when there is a red on
because he knows he does not have to go into them because when he pots
one ball, another will become available. If they were applied up
-- if they were tied up he would have played the black into the bunch
to stay on to this red. John Higgins highest break in this
match amazingly is only 89 and that is in winning 14 frames. His highest
break in this session has only been 48 and he has won four frames.
It has run a little awkward if he can't get past this red because the
one near the corner pocket is tight on the cushion.
Just enough room. He has to head up the table again, though. He could
hold for the black. It is a portable black but he could not have help it
any more than that -- pottable. John Higgins, 45. He probably played
it with a little touch of right-hand side and didn't allow for the throw.
Well, he's having a bit of a nightmare now, Barry Hawkins. He
knows this semifinal has slipped away from him.
There was enough room for the red to pass the black but it wasn't a full
pocket. When he touched the black, that was going to happen.
I thought for a second he was going to kiss the red full ball and be on
nothing. He played to go round the back of it without cannoning it but
he did move it into a better position. He only needs two more
reds to be assured of it and to leave Barry sitting in his seat. One
more red and colour would leave snooker is required but if he pots
to more, which he should do, Barry will not come back to the table.
He will be so disappointed at not even competing, really. John Higgins
highest break is only 48 and at this level you can't win frames with just
48 but he has won five of them. Regardless if he wins this match
with a session to spare or not, he will be on the practice table with
that new tip. Because all the odds are he will get through to the final
and he will want to play as many frames as possible to get used to
it. Even that one, it doesn't matter about the black. Barry leaves the
arena, as does John, and it is all too easy for the former four-time
champion Andy is now leading 15-7. Racing toward you would think of six
Crucible final six years after his last. We are in the practice room,
Mark Selby the defending champion getting some practice and work done
before his final session at two 30p against Ding Junhui after a
sensational session last night in which Mark went 12-10 up and Ding
came straight back at him with back-to-back centuries. It is
beautifully poised in that one and we can't wait. I will not disturb
him any more, we will get back to the match between John Higgins and
Barry Hawkins and John definitely has eyes on the winning with a
session to spare. Two more frames remaining in their third session.
Can he win them both? Another good break-off shot from
Barry, he has hit a different red to normal, you don't see them spread
around like that. Barry will give it his best shot, playing for pride now
and give it frame by frame, give it your best shot. That is not bad,
really. Better in the pocket than wobbling in the jaws and staying up
amongst the reds. The pace of his safety shots this
morning has been the worst I have ever seen from Barry.
Good pot from John Higgins but he should not have had it that easy. He
didn't have to do an awful lot with the cue ball, it was a plain ball
pot. The pink and black are tied up, I wonder if he will try to do some
big about the black, if the powers in the blue with side and comes off
the cushion he might be able to cannon the black and red and make
something happen because they are tied up at the moment. That is what
he has tried. He has brought the black into play. Is he on a red?
That is unlucky, Dennis. He played your shot, and it is amazing he has
not gone onto a red. I mean this semifinal means so much
to both players but John Higgins, it is 2011 since he lifted the title
here, beating Judd Trump in a fabulous final. He has had to wait
another six years to get back to the one-table situation. Another loose
safety shot. Exactly the same think he did not find the baulk cushion
again. Somebody just come into the press box, John just had to get up
off the shot. You always fancied him parting that on, it was almost
identical to the previous one. And those types of pots always give you
confidence with a new tip. They make you feel pretty good.
Needs a bit of luck here. And he has got it. It is usually the case when
you are out in front, I would say John is at the top of his form, but
when you get a lead like that you tend to get the run of the ball and
he got it there. And with that one little flick off the reds to finish
on a red he has a great chance here. Just a little bit thin on the blue
but doesn't have to do much with the cue ball, a bit of left-hand side to
straighten it up off the cushion. There is one loose red at the bottom
of the pack but he will need some sort of cannon in a minute, he might
as well played to finish low on it so he can pot it and bring others
into play and he has done that so he will be flicking off the pack and
going up for blue or baulk colour and all of the reds will be in play
after this shot. And that is perfect with the two
reds below the pink potting in the corner so he will be playing for a
choice off this yellow. You can see, 54 is the difference,
he needs a few more pots to secure the frame. It should not be a
problem and he will have one thing in the back of his mind now and that
is to win the match with a session to spare. Then he can relax this
evening and play that new tip in but it looks pretty good at the moment,
he looks very comfortable with it. This is already his highest break of
the morning session, Dennis. APPLAUSE
That is frame ball. Can he make a century? 22 frames
without a century! I never thought I would be saying that about John
Higgins. But they only win one frame. And the next shop will
determine if he can possibly get it, if he misses the pink and cannons
the reds... He has got a bit of a chance. This will go into the
corner. He might play it firm to try to flick another read off the
cushion and that is what he has done. APPLAUSE
He's playing to pot this black and cannons into the second Kroos, the
one nearest the cushion. What a good shot.
John Higgins is one of the best players of doubles in the game. He
has been a fabulous break-builder over the years. I expected him to
pot that's what a shame, note century break this morning but he is
now just one away from victory with that 90 break and it is 16-7.
Floyd Mayweather, from the recent time watching boxing. Celtic being
the first British to win the European cup in 1967. The Ryder Cup.
We had a penalty kick competition and I was chosen to go and I want
it. I would love to win the world title again, that would be amazing.
The Crucible. Followed by closely where we used to play the Irish
Masters in Ireland. I would love to play for Celtic! Lately it has been
stopped. But you do a bit back home. I would have to invite McGuire, he
would bring the alcohol! Ricky Walden, he throws a few shapes
around the table. And Andrew Higginson. I think the bags are a
bit tight right now! So John Higgins breaks off in what
he hopes will be the last frame of this semifinal. But Barry Hawkins,
he has got a lot of pride, and I would love to see him knock in this
long red. Unlucky. There is one that will cut
back, I think. But that has tied up the black. He wasn't far away with
this. No cutback, just a safety shot. He hasn't put the cue ball in,
has he? Very good judgment, John! Got the pace of the table. You lucky
boy! Barry was banging the table! If that
White did happen to drop in, I think it is only allowed about two or
three second and then it would be replaced, not like one of your
putts... Gravity normally takes it! Barry is looking at a three-ball
plant, if he takes it on the reds will be spread far and wide and I
think he might as well have a go and try to make a 147 to beat Ronnie
O'Sullivan's 146. The reds will be going everywhere if he is playing
it. He has played it and what a shame! The White has gone in! He
went all out to try to bring the black into it and make a sizeable
break. He wanted to throw his cue into the crowd. He is such a lovely
fella but he is struggling out there. But have a look at the focus
on the face of John Higgins. He did not get involved in all that
laughter. He is out there to do a job. APPLAUSE
That is the hit, he needed to be straight on this, I don't know if he
can pot it and miss the bunch but if he can eat and get on to blue or
baulk colour but the harder he plays it, the wider the white will throw.
He has managed to hold it for the black, amazingly enough. But this is
missable am by no means easy. Having missed a just off straight
black early in the match, that was a tough one, but he had a feeling it
could win him frame and match if it went in. And earlier in the week
that might have gone in off the far jaw, they aren't now. Come on,
Barry, take us to the last session with a century.
That just shows you how much he is struggling, he played to finish on
the blue half ball. All at sea at the moment.
He wobbled that want into the pocket.
-- that one. He is doing well here, playing for pride at the moment,
Harry Hawkins. -- Barry Hawkins. Having a bit of a laugh with the
crowd and I think they would love to see him take this frame. John
Higgins wouldn't. That black that he missed, he put himself under a bit
of pressure even though he is so far in front because he wanted to win so
he did not have to come back this evening. But the way things are
going, he might have too. It wasn't a sitter.
We just watched the black for a second time as Barry overhits that.
Those blacks were going in off the far jaw but they aren't any more.
Barry Hawkins has lost position, he is 40 in front, it doesn't appear as
if any of these reds would be easily attainable from a positional shot.
He will have some sort of pot into the yellow pocket if it goes in,
maybe one into the middle. He needs this red and Green or
above. No. But he is odds-on favourite, especially now that the
white has finished up their. APPLAUSE
He is having a little smile, a nice time to get a good run of the ball,
16-7 behind! He will not be taking the miss
because he now just needs to pot this red. 52 in front, don't go in
off! Every chance we are coming back this evening.
No. No, you are kidding. The white disappears. Barring sneakers, we are
coming back this evening. -- snookers. Only the one snooker
needed. The way they are situated, the
colours, a bit of a chance that John could still close the match out in
this session. I just wondered if he pops the three reds and the yellow
then he could make a really telling snooker. A great call. Let's see if
he will do that if he got in behind the green, he could put a telling
snooker in behind the blue. Where do you see a player not leave the last
red on. Trying to get onto the yellow.
That is exactly what he is going to do. It is all about getting a good
angle on the yellow so he can get behind the green and leave the
perfect angle to get in behind the blue. Has he got the angle? He would
love to be able to get over that and roll the green tight behind the
blue. I don't think he can do that. I think he has finished a little
straight on the yellow. Yes, absolutely straight full study can
still send the green around the table and get in behind the blue. --
absolutely straight. Another example of the new tip. I'm
not sure he can get behind the blue now without a kiss. He has potted
the green. Can you believe it? He got the dreaded double-kiss. He
might get another double-kiss if he plays really thin on the left-hand
side of the brown. If you can avoid the double-kiss this time he can get
right in behind the black. Just seeing if there is any value potting
the brown. Three cushions and he could get right in behind the black.
It looks like he will pop the brown instead. -- he will pot.
I think he would have to go thin if he were to get in behind the black.
It would have to be a very precise shot. A little thin one might just
get him there. He is trying it off one cushion but the middle pocket is
in the way. He will hit the black. Safely in. A terrific cheer for
Barry Hawkins. It is not all over just yet will stop handshakes. Well
done, Barry Hawkins. Playing for his bride. They have to come back this
evening for the John Higgins only needs one frame to come back for his
sixth final. That was a pretty tough session.
Both to play in and to watch. It looks like he is there. Do you see
any way back for Barry Hawkins? No it is all over. Barry Hawkins showed
his character. It is easy to think, do I really want to come back
tonight? Get my suit on and pretend I am practising hard. He has done it
but the match is over. John Higgins could probably have done with a
night off. Tip gate has reared its ugly head again. He has been away
half the night to Southport to see Les Dodd. How much of the toll will
all of this play on him? I could have told him the end 62 has had a
lobotomy. That has been wrecked for 20 miles. He has come in on back
roads to get back here. He was panicking thinking, is he going to
get back here? It is psychological. If it is in your head that it is not
right, go and see him by all means. He did have the journey in hell.
Even when he is playing well, he is searching for something. I think it
is nerves of the occasion. That is getting to him a bit. The whole send
-- semifinal he has not had a break. He has got through because his
opponent has not put him under any pressure. He has had a comfortable
match. All of this is sheer pressure of the occasion. He has not been in
the one-table set-up for six years. You just wonder, at the tender age
of 41, whether the pressures and stamina levels required are now
beginning to catch up. They could be. I spoke to him yesterday,
messing around with the tip and stuff. His sleeping patterns are all
messed up. This is a marathon. If you have not done this for awhile,
you are waking up at three o'clock, four o'clock in the morning, leaving
the menu in the hotel. You're not going back to sleep or it can be
like that for all the players. You have described how difficult it is
to last and keep performing to your best. The two tournaments he have
one -- has one this season have been 16 man offence. It is a completely
different test of everything. -- events. He has one to go, he hopes,
this evening from seven o'clock. The other semifinal everyone is itching
to see is the concluding session between Ding Junhui and the man he
beat in last year's final. They played frames lost at which will go
down in Crucible folklore. It really does not get much better than this.
Going to be a important session in this semifinal. -- a very important
session. Good at the Angles. He is pretty good at the angles. A few
whistles as well. That is a magnificent break of 128. Mark Selby
extends his lead. Oh! A great shot on the pink. The
standard here it is absolutely superb. A screw off the side and top
cushion with loads of side. Have a look at that for a shot! That is one
of the best positional shots you could ever wish to see. He could do
with this one. Wonderful! He takes the frame. Now he is just one behind
the defending champion. Colour red required. Would you
believe it! That is a great shot. That is a terrific shot. Boy, is he
good under pressure! It is there. What a frame that was!
What a steal! What about that! A fabulous pot. The
pressure was right on him for that he came straight back with that
magnificent frame for them here's just one behind again. -- that
magnificent frame. He is just one behind again. This is the icing on
the cake. To finish the night in style. Ding Junhui takes is standing
ovation. He has dug deep and one that session 5-3. 12-12. They are
just in the practice room at the moment. Ding Junhui with Terry
Griffiths. Ding Junhui has been with Terry Griffiths for eight months.
Bobby Lee is in the background with Mark Selby. There were back-to-back
centuries last night when he was 12-10 behind, Ding Junhui. I think
we learned an awful lot about this man last night, didn't we? We did.
From the start of the semifinal I think he has been competing any time
-- better than any time but I have not seen him compete as well as he
has done in this event. He had the time to get over the line against
Ronnie O'Sullivan. That, last night, that, I think is the best you have
ever seen him play. He went up a level for me last night. He went up
a level when he beat Ronnie O'Sullivan. And he has done it in
style. He has been a machine in this one in so far. Even when Mark Selby
had a really good run of balls committees that in his chair,
Serena. Nothing was bothering him. -- serene. Sir macro he will be
looking at the other semifinal and thinking the standard was not as
good. You must put that to the back of your mind. This is the best I
have seen Ding Junhui compete I cannot wait. We will see who gets
into the final. Steve Davis is with two men who think they have won the
lottery getting the commentary seeds today. Here in the commentary box
with Dennis Taylor and John Virgo. It feels so exciting. You have
commentator Don loads of stuff. There is something special about
this one, isn't there? I have never seen a session like that. It was the
best session I have ever commentated on. Unbelievable snooker from both
players. I am so impressed with Ding Junhui. I think he has another
little bit of help out there. His mum passed away suddenly in February
and I think he is out there to bring it for his mum because I know
exactly how he feels. I watched it again on the highlights last night.
It was so exciting. You are just involved in the match. There was an
air of anticipation in the crowd that they started to get behind Ding
Junhui. This is fascinating. He has more support today and he has ever
had from an Englishman, Mark Selby. Mark Selby is defending champion.
They are looking at what they thought is the underdog. He embraced
the crowd for study made a foul in a session I went back to his seat,
laughing. That is why he has the crowd on his side. The snooker he
produced has been fantastic for the peak gave them something to cheer
about. I will not even ask who will win this. It is great for us all to
sit back and then enjoy. Over to Rob Walker.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. As we have just heard,
this is developing into one of the all-time Crucible classics. Eight
breaks over 50 and nothing splits ahead of this last session. There is
only room for one. This is sporting drama of the very highest quality.
It is showtime in Sheffield. Please welcome home, a man whose
importance for the global game should not be underestimated. Winner
of 12 ranking titles, he has inspired millions back home. His two
big breaks late last night to level the match were superb. 13 centuries
from him in the tournament so far. A national hero in China. Enter the
Dragon, Ding Junhui. And his opponent, ten years on from
his first world final. He is now established as one of the sport was
my key players. World number 14 two years. Winner of 11 ranking titles.
He so often demonstrates nerves of steel exactly when it cancelled the
UK champion and defending world champion. Here comes the Jester from
Leicester, Mark Selby. Well, the real Ding Junhui stood up
and was counted last night. Such composure and nerves. Mark Selby is
renowned for his legendary strength under pressure in the final stages
of matches. He may need that again today. First to 17th wins it and it
will be one this afternoon. Dennis, John, over to you. Thank you very
much. Good afternoon, everyone. What a reception both players had.
Especially for Ding Junhui. He is Sheffield's own snooker champion.
Look at that picture! Ding Junhui to break. Put your cameras down now,
please. Thank you. He gets the first frame under way. Is it possible the
standard can continue that we witnessed yesterday evening? It is a
big ask. What a session we have in store! First 217 for a place in the
final, to be played to a finish in this session. He has outplayed Mark
Selby in the safety success department. Who would have thought
that? Looking at Mark Selby, as he was being introduced, he has his
game face on. He looked very focused. He has been up and down the
corridors, 40 minutes before play. Pacing up and down. A little bit
like the great Steve Davis used to do before playing.
Not really an attempt at the red. Mark with his hand on the table. He
expected a better safety. But that one is a little bit pacey
as well. If it runs behind the green, he will not mind.
That is what he is looking at. Not a lot available. Into the side of the
bunch. That is close to the pink. Foul and a miss.
He wants to get into the reds, as close to the pink as possible.
It is that way. You can see the monitor, that is perfect. The cue
ball... A bit back. Perfect. It is not crucial with this position but
it is -- that it is absolutely spot-on but sometimes it can make a
difference. That is better. APPLAUSE
I don't know if Mark can get back down the table or not here, John.
That will be a thin one. Yes, he can do it.
What about the first frame of the session last night. 18 minutes
without a ball being ported. The crowd loved every minute of it. The
safety play was extraordinary and stop -- was extraordinary.
That was a better length for the safety shot. In that frame, Mark
Selby made a century in it, eventually when he got a chance.
Last night's session just had everything. Everything that snooker
can give you. The enjoyment you can get out of the game. I agree with
you, Dennis, it was the best I have ever had the pleasure of
commentating on. It was fantastic. Everyone I spoke to last night and
this morning, they were all buzzing about it. It was a feast. There was
a lot of pressure in this session, of course. Two players who
desperately want to make it through to the final. Did not play the pot.
It was not the right potting angle to go back around the black. That
has been the game plan of Mark Selby throughout this match. Keeping it
tight. Trying not to gift any easy openings for Ding Junhui. The way he
has been scoring, 13 centuries in that one in so far, he had a chance
in amongst the balls. A lovely length of cue ball. That has been so
impressive about him. The fact he has matched Mark Selby in safety
play. I did not really think he had that in him. I think he has
played... Have a look at that exclamation that is the safety
success rate for the tournament. -- have a look at that! So, that, as we
see this red come towards the corner pocket, that safety success rate
with 13 centuries, Mark must have a few friends up in the balcony. He
was doing a lot of that last evening. That is Vicky, his wife,
and Bobby on the left. Just trying to work out whether cue
ball will go. I think it is one of these. You just concentrate on the
pot and you have to trust little bit of luck for position. The main
objective, do not miss the red. He is not on pink or black. Will he
play the blue? As you can see, the pass of the cue ball just trusts a
little bit to luck. It is not over here. He knows the importance. If
this were not the first frame, I would expect him to play the blue.
Because it is, he may not. How did that Blue Nile drop in once
it ran along the cushion? -- that blew not drop in? Look at that! It
was clinging to the cushion. How did it stay out. A three shot from Mark
Selby. The blue is right across the pocket if it goes in.
As you say, Dennis, it is a free shot. He will be disappointed he did
not get closer to the pocket than that.
They are tough shots. Just a fraction off. He has missed it and
he has left Mark Selby with an easy starter. It was not easy.
Understandably, the players will be just a little bit edgy in this
opening frame. It is so important to get your nose in front again. There
is a red in the baulk end. He will be looking to bring the cue ball
down into the business end. It is never easy to judge. Judging the
pace is all important. This looks superb. What a touch!
This shot, as we zoom in, shows you how big a snooker table is. 12' by
6'. Mark still has that bit of a shake
in his head, it is something he has always done. It is not as bad as it
used to be but it doesn't affect his game. It is just the natural way he
plays. You could see on the side bar, another 43 points required from
this position to get to the snooker is required stage. He is going to
have to open some more reds, there are not enough there to clinch the
frame without having to play a cannon of some kind. And you could
see his eyes, they were on the object ball as he delivered the cue,
looking from the cue ball to the object ball back and forwards and
then focusing on the object ball as you deliver the cue. You can see his
eyes, focused on the object ball. The fact he is taking so long over
this blue, he is just a fraction too straight. There looks to be a red
two down from the pink that is available to the left corner but you
can see he is fairly straight and looking at that virtual image, maybe
that one second down from the pink doesn't go to the left corner. I
think he would have to play for the one behind the black. Watch the
side. The first side and he has got a bit too much on it. That is the
problem when you are trying to force the angle. He has played the stun
screw back but with the side as Dennis said, see how it flicked off
the cushion and this is a tough red now.
APPLAUSE He has played it well but this is
the difficulty with the red, he put all his concentration into potting
it and he is not great here. A bit of pressure on this brown.
Just looking at the angle he has on this red, you might choose to go up
for the black here. He would love to be able to hold for the blue and
straight into the pink but he might still be able to do that. Yes, just
about. But having said that, the only way into those reds, he is dead
straight on the blue so he can't get to them now. Look at that. Almost
dead straight. This is a big shock he is ticking on, to pot the brown
and split the reds. Nowhere near. Has he got away with it? I don't
think so. That was a bit ambitious, that one. Strange choice of shot. He
had played a controlled match so far and that was out of character, have
yet played the match in the previous sessions. I don't know if he was
consciously thinking of attacking a bit more but that was probably
pushing the boat out a bit too far. What has he done here? He is not on
a colour, he was hoping to be on the blue. Is a little bit of a tense
start for Ding Junhui here. And as per usual, and that has been
the impressive thing from Ding in this match, when he has run out of
position like he did there, he has put the disappointment behind him
and played an excellent safety and he looks to have snookered mark on
Allred 's. Tight would be better. Almost. And
that is the problem with that shot. You always feel you would like to
leave it tight, and he has left a plant as well. A bit of a gap
between the two reds but it on if he catches the first one right. That's
the thing, you try to get tight behind the green but if he had left
it tight on the book Mac -- tight on the baulk cushion, this would not be
available but Mark now has control of the cue ball and you fancy this
plant. Right in the heart of the pocket, with his hand on the table
he could control the cue ball and this is a chance to take the first
frame. He already has a 38 point lead with a colour to come.
He could do with getting the blue out of the way here. If the red is
dead straight he can drop it in for the black but if not, he can roll
through and leave the black in the opposite corner.
No reason why he shouldn't take the frame from this position, already 43
in front. And this black, he is having a look at the blue, obviously
the red immediately to the left of the black will go he could play
black and play for it in the same pocket as the black. This is to go
50 in front with 67 remaining. He is looking for red, colour, red
now. It's OK from that little cluster of three, one of them goes
to the right corner so if he drops this in and plays for the blue
because the black doesn't go in this pocket. It is just a case of potting
the blue and playing the left-hand one of the three reds and that would
be the frame clincher. He took on a very ambitious brown in this frame.
It didn't cost him. The red to go 57 ahead with 51 remaining.
If he knocks in this next red, no way back to the table for Ding
Junhui. He would like to clear the remaining
balls here. He made a magnificent 128 break to lead 10-7 and then Ding
bounced straight back with 95 to take it back to two and it was just
awesome snooker but this is a good start from the defending champion.
Looking very good here, just that one shot that John mentioned, the
brown which was a bit ambitious and he missed it by a long way but it
did not cost him in the end. He has had that cue ball in the
perfect position virtually every shot in this break.
APPLAUSE That is a terrific way to start for
Mark Selby and he has come out with a determined look on his face and he
has taken the opening frame and is now leading Ding Junhui 13-12. It
was Ding who led 5-3 after the first session but has been playing
catch-up ever since and just when he gets on level terms last night, the
defending champion gets his nose in front again. Typical. Absolutely,
and Ding looks a bit edgy because he had a couple of shots and his cue
ball was not controlled and I put that down to his arm being a bit
tight. Steve? Mark Selby missed the most glaring pot, he was not
absolutely comfortable at that stage but got the best chance after the
luck of how the pack sorted itself out when the plant was on and he
capitalised on that. And the opening exchanges. We have 13 world titles
between us here in the studio and there is another who has one, John
Parrott, he is there to improve your game. If you're having a few
problems with your cueing, you can send him a message or a video of
your style and he will attempt to put you right. 7-3 to contact John,
but back to the serious business. Mark Selby will be nicely settled
after making that lovely clearance at the end of the frame, but as I
said, there was a sign when he played the brown, which did not cost
him, but maybe he will be a bit more on the attack than he was in the
first three sessions. APPLAUSE
That is in the heart of the pocket and it needs to kiss the green. It
didn't but I think he has got the green to the middle. Has he got the
potting angle to get back to the reds? Yes, there is the angle and
there are three he can get on. That was so close. He thought he had that
but it hit both jaws of the middle pocket and he played the cue ball
into the perfect position. Have a look at this green, touching the
near jaw. Mark Selby in with a very good with
another three reds available here -- a very good chance.
He did very well there, he was almost straight and widened the
angle with a stun run through to get on these reds. Excellent positional
shot. Here you go look how he widened the
angle and the cue ball bouncing but it landed perfect. And it is one of
these situations, particularly with the green near the left middle,
there is a red to the left and bottom of the cluster. If at some
time he will play for that, he can leave himself low and in potting it
bring others into play knowing he will have the green to the left
middle. Just underhit that slightly. I'm
just wondering if he might take the chance here, that have a look at the
angle, if the pot of this and careered into the reds, the green is
available but he is screwing back so he will not be moving any reds here.
He still has that want at the back of the bunch that is available. And
he has an angle to go straight into them here, it depends how he feels.
He has played for the single one. It is not a great pack to go into from
the black. It surprises me, I wouldn't question his break-building
for a moment but I can't believe he hasn't tried to leave himself low on
this and try to nudge reds open. It is not a great pack to get into, as
you said and as Willie Thorne describes it always, a flat back
pack. He has got to play at stun shot into the left side of them but
he is screwing it. That was never going to work, unless he is
fortunate. No. Unless he pulls off an unbelievable pot, it is in the
break, but there is a chance this could go into the middle. He could
get on the black but what an angle he is faced with here. It bare.
-- it is their and he flicked the black, which helps.
He split them but the problem with that shot, because of the back spin,
the cue ball will always come away from the reds. He has want to the
middle and if he knocks this in it could be a frame-winner but there is
pressure on it. APPLAUSE He sacrificed a bit of position to
make sure of the pot, straight on the pink would have been better.
Another little cannon needed here. And just about. 50 S head. -- 50
ahead so not much more needed to secure this frame.
It is a great start to the session from the defending champion.
He has just got a slight angle, you would think he would run round off
two cushions for the one just to the left of the pink for the right
middle. He just has the angle to play the runaround. Didn't hit that
to welcome he tried to force the angle, felt it was a bit straight
and if he had run through normal he might have got in the jaws that you
could see the cue ball was bouncing when it hit the black and the black
bounced and it took all the pace out of the cue ball. He didn't seem to
be striking the cue ball right at the top which creates the top spin
in the follow-through. As you said, John, it was more of a stun shot.
He has a tough red into the middle pocket. This is another.
No danger, right in the heart of the pocket and that is frame over now.
Just the red required and he is perfectly on it and it will be
followed by pink or black and leave Ding Junhui needing two or three
snookers. It is all about fractions, this game. Ding Junhui played a
green and just flicked the near jaw and stayed out. And this has been
the result. This was the green, it just caught that near jaw and it
looked for a second as though it might just drop. He needs a chance,
Ding in amongst the balls but you don't get that many chances against
Mark Selby. Good pot. And every likelihood now
we will see a century here. Mark has already had six centuries
and we are up to 69 in the tournament. Yes, 86 is the record, I
don't think it will be beaten but you never know. As I said, Ding has
had 13 centuries. I think the record is 16. I think that is John Higgins.
In fact, it is Stephen Hendry, sitting in the studio, sorry,
Stephen! I think John Higgins had 14 in one
year. This red and a colour. What a pity. No century but Mark
Selby is proving once again that he is going to be very tough to beat
and he gets his two frame lead back. It is now 14-12.
Ding had that chance with the green and missed it and I wonder what
these great champions are feeling about the start from the reigning
champion. It looks like he is smelling blood and sensing weakness
and that is what he does, he pounces. Is a great visit, a couple
of tricky red into the middle, but the way he played them, neither
looked in doubt. You can sense signs, when is the time to put the
foot down and the hammer down and so far this session that is what it
looks like. Are you hearing that mood music as well? It is always the
case that Mark Selby to give since every chance to win event like this
because he is relentless. While Ding put in a fantastic performance to
get back level last night, and if the match had continued into the
night it might have been a different story, you reset for every session.
Mark Selby, you can see the look of determination on his face when he
came out, he is there to do a job today. I'm not saying Ding Junhui is
not, but every time Mark Selby makes it difficult for you and it is tough
for Ding Junhui but we know he is up to the job. We do and it will be
interesting because there is a huge amount of support for Ding Junhui
here. He is one of Sheffield's adopted sons, he has been here for
the last ten years and think a lot of people would love to think it is
his time at the World Championships. He has a lot of support, back we go.
90% pot success rate for both players. Mark slightly ahead in the
longer pot success Department. In fact I'd been told 59%, Mark
Selby won the tournament with that pot success rate last year when he
defeated Ding in the final, 18-14. That could be a useful little flick
off the yellow. It certainly was. Not a problem getting out of the
snooker but a little flick like that can make a difference.
Just means that Mark as the slight advantage here in the safety
Department and if he can get another good cue ball...
Important for Ding Junhui to return a good safety and hopefully not push
a red over the corner but there seems to be four balls that might
send one out of the bunch towards the right corner pocket so he will
have to be careful here. He doesn't want too thick contact otherwise he
will do that. Yes, he got a thin contact which sacrificed a little
bit of what he could do with the cue ball. There can't surely be another
plant on? It would be a three-ball plant. You never know with Mark
Selby. One red onto the other two, it is going to the left of the
pocket, he might be up to make this. He would be playing the safety shot
at the same time. Not quite a plant but he got a good
cue ball. There is this red to the left corner but Ding Junhui has to
be very careful if he plays it. He looks bound to run into a red or
even the black. There is no shot for nothing. Is it worth the risk? That
is the question. He has lost the first two frames and he needs to get
a foothold now in the session. He found the gap. Where is the red
going? That's not too bad, safe enough. He did well to find a gap
through the reds in playing that pot. And of course he will be more
concerned with the gap than the pot. There is a shot on, I'm wondering if
Mark Selby will have a go at it, he can send this into the pink and red
and screw back into the safety zone. He is looking at the very thin snick
which tells me if he can pot the red in the right middle, could he get up
and down the table? No, he is going for the one I mentioned, screwing
back and sending the red into the pink and reds. That's a good cue
ball. He was always going to have plenty of stoppers to prevent the
red from coming back up the table. He has a bit of a problem here, Ding
Junhui. All things considered, that was an
excellent safety. He did not find Bob cushion. He was in a spot of
bother and he had to catch the red perfect, so as not to leave
anything. He has not left anything. That is the art of safety. It is the
perfect example. You do not kiss baulk colour. The pace Mark got on
the cue ball, Ding Junhui once again has quite a bit to think about. I
cannot see a return to baulk unless he catches the red so Finn. If he
catches it sick, he will run into the red in the end he did not want
to risk it and played the containing safety. I think it is all right.
Just. As I mentioned, Ding Junhui needs to
get in among the reds to get a bit of confidence going. That is what
the game is all about. At the moment he cannot get that chance. Mark
Selby is keeping things very tight. He had breaks of 74 and 96.
He might not have blocked the route off down the table. He needs a thin
contact but he needs a telling safety to try to force an error from
Mark Selby. That is a pretty good return. Very good. Excellent. A
superb shot. Normally in these situations you see a player tapping
over the table. This is of proper match. Excellent return. Excellent
return. It is very difficult to force a mistake from Mark Selby in
the safety exchanges. That is what Ding Junhui needs to do full Tubby
cannot rely on Mark Selby getting in amongst the balls. That and in the
first frame of this session, in all honesty. He needs to try to force an
error that he is on the back foot. That might have rocked back. It
could be touching, which would have helped mark. No, not touching. He
can still play of that red. Touching ball makes it easier. But he can
just glance of this. -- off this. He can not pop many balls when you
are stuck on the baulk cushion all the time.
In the end, a fraction too thin. If he leaves Mark Selby with his hand
on the table, he is asking for trouble.
For once, he did not take advantage. Nearly had a result but the cue ball
just stopped short. I think there is a gap between blue and pink. There
is. If you cut down the escape route
down the left-hand side of the table, your opponent is in trouble.
Ding Junhui has just gained initiative.
That is what Mark is looking at. There is very little available to
him. Looks as if he will have to leave
the white at this end of the table. He is trying to find a spot. He is
having quite a bit of thinking time to pick that spot out.
It just means at the moment that Ding Junhui has the slight advantage
in a tactical battle. He's looking at the possibility of the red into
the middle. This would be quite some pot! He could maybe finish on the
brown and draw the green. The last time he potted a ball. Well played!
Just a little bit too far as we show you that terrific pot again. The
white just ran about 6-8 inches further than he intended. Brown
ball. Ding Junhui, one. I think he has
just got the snooker. Maybe he can just hit the edge of this red on the
right-hand side of the table but he cannot get back to baulk. He is
having a good look around. If he cannot see the pass, it is an escape
route for him to land the red left of the black. If he can get to land
read he is cueing up to, that would be just as good. There might just be
a gap through to that done the right side of the table.
That is a bit weak. It is not good. The initiative in that tactical...
This tactical exchange. He may have handed that initially back to his
opponent now. There is a pot on to this right corner. Hard to see how
he could get position on the colour. It is obviously not a straight run
back to the baulk end. If he was tight against the baulk cushion, it
would be almost impossible. With his hand on the table you would expect
him to find a path. He did not find that path that you
said, John. At first glance, he might. There is a red available the
left corner foot once he got the cannon, he cannon, he knew he would
leave something. Now... One good pop here... -- pot. This is his first
chance in amongst the balls. The black is ad of commission but it
all depends if and when he pops the pink. He will pot it at some time.
Where the pink will go. He may have to pot a few reds around the pink
spot. This is his first real chance. Can he now stop producing the form
of last evening? Just about OK. Two wonderful
centuries last evening to get back to all square. He has coming towards
the table. That has showed the angle he has faced with the brown. He must
play a nice screw shot past the middle pocket. A few reds available
to him. Is he going to drop nicely on one? Still not in an ideal
position. Can he cue past the pink? This will make all the difference.
If he is hampered by the pink, this is a tough shot. He is hampered.
Decision time. He will take the pot on. Does he make the pot more
difficult by trying to play a stunner for them baulk colours or
does he totally commit to the pot. Nicely in. What a shot that was! Now
in perfect position. Playing for the pink now. This is
where he is so good, in and around the pink area. He will have to try
to win this frame without the help of the black. He can forget about
the black completely. Does the pink go to the right corner when it is
re-spotted? It does. This is a good chance for Ding Junhui but there is
pressure. There you go. Another 33 points from
this position to get to the snooker -- snookers required stage.
When he pops this, it will help the situation. The two reds left of this
will then be available. He did not play that very well. That was just a
little edgy one. It just means a little bit more to do. Should be OK.
Well played. He has those two reds are mentioned. Cleared the path.
There is a couple of Ding Junhui supporters. A great shot from the
balcony. And, once again, he has come up a little bit short. Now he
will have to go all the way around the angles if he is to get on one of
the reds. There is one to the right corner. He has just underscrew that.
A wee bit of pressure on this. He will get a terrific cheer if he pops
it and gets on a red. Here comes the white. He misses all the colours. It
is not bad. Ding Junhui, 52. Coming up a little
bit short of clinching the frame. He was playing to get on the one that
was near the black spot. He still lords on to win the frame. You know
what Mark Selby is capable of... And look at where the red is situated.
They are never easy. If it were straight, you would not expect him
to miss it. A good safety shot now required from Ding Junhui. 53 points
the lead and 75 points remaining. He is basically looking now for eight
couple of reds, a couple of colours. A good safety once again.
He has looked long and hard to see if he can get the edge of a red that
he cannot. Hands to come off the edge of the side cushion. Just
feathered the red. A good shot. I don't know if he can get past the
blue to clip that read. I don't think he can.
Yes, and he's not got the option this time to nestle near the reds on
the top cushion on the right-hand side of the table. If he tries to go
twice, of course for that is very risky. Will he play the two cushion
escape with a bit of pace? That is where he is playing. Played it
lovely. Where is the red going? Where was the cue ball going? He has
the cover. He has the cover. Or has he? Hold the front page. Settle
down, John. Settle down. He can just get through to it. He will have to
swerve it slightly. Still needs another red after the
blue. He can just avoid a kiss on the red when potting the blue. He
has played it perfectly. He is pulling 60 points ahead with 59
remaining stop That is a bit unfortunate.
Glancing around at the scoreboard. Could have worked out a lot better
than that but it is only one snooker that is needed. We know what Mark
Selby is like when it comes to finding slippers. I cannot think how
Ding Junhui can knock it on to another cushion. By Megahey will
play the correct option. That black being tied up, OK, we are saying one
snooker required. Yes. He has gone for the pink.
That should be the end of frame. It was going to be a tall order with
Mark Selby with the black tied up there. Nestles in behind the yellow.
Hopefully on to the brown. Mark should stay in his seat, you would
feel. Yes, he nods to the referee. Ding Junhui lost the first two
frames. They are some of his fans. They are delighted. Just one behind
now. 14-13. The defending champion is keeping him at arm 's length that
is having to send him off once again. This is a great, positive
attitude we are seeing from Ding Junhui. It is not exactly the bully
versus the kid who has been beaten up in the school playground every
day. Let's assume that is the case. You keep pummelling somebody but
they keep coming back for more. In the end, finally, you will end. He
was fighting a bit with the cue ball. Do you think he is settling in
a bit now? Not one ' visit stuff. We are used to him knocking in
centuries all over the place was that it did not matter how he did
it. It does not look like a three frame gap opening. He keeps coming
back. That is back to one frame. We will be saying it all afternoon. A
big frame coming up before the interval. He is having to play
cagily and wait for his chance and then have to pounce. He has shown as
he is capable of doing that. Last night there were signs he was asking
questions of Mark Selby in the safety department. He had an easy
safety shot that would have kept the pack together. He really would blast
them open. It would risk a ball over the corner pocket. Mark Selby, in
the end could did miss a green ball that cost him the last frame.
Wonderfully poised. I can only guess what the ratings would be in China
right now. Skyrocketing into the 150 million at the moment. Mark Selby
gets the frame under way. There is a mid-session interval after this.
Every frame now is so important to both players. It looks like a good
break-off shot on the face of it. Can he just get past the blue? He
obviously can. Needs to catch the red thing though. Caught it little
bit too thick. That is why the cue ball has only just got past the
blue. He has left a read on. The few weak safety shots he has played in
this match. -- he has left a red on. A little bit of a tense one hour
from the defending champion. We expect him to not back in. Temple
Micra has a similar type of shot. More difficult than the one Mark
had. -- Ding Junhui has a similar type of shot. He is taking the one
nearer the pocket to get himself on the black.
No. Where is the red? He has left a long, straight one past the blue. If
it goes he will be able to go back onto the black. I am not sure if it
pops. He will be disappointed to have missed that. He knows he will
have to play his best game today. So far he is not there. The chance for
Mark. Straight red into the top. We don't see that very often. He gets
the first good chance. Ding Junhui took the very positive
shot to try to get onto the black. He had the other one he could
possibly have potted and come round for a baulk colour. I think he was
just thinking very positively but did not execute the shot as he would
have liked. He might have to sit in his seat now for a while.
I think sooner rather than later Mark Selby will play for the red
that is immediately above the black. Leave himself low on it and he might
even elect to play the cannon on the end of the cluster, but it's not
leave himself low on it so he can pot it and bring others into play
and that is exactly what he has done. He can open them up here and
it is all about keeping control of that cue ball to retain position on
the black or even on the pink. Good control needed because he will be
bringing reds into play here. I thought he would hit it a bit harder
than that, he was obviously frightened of screwing back and
finishing on the cushion but it was sooner than he wanted as you can
clearly see. Safely in. -- it was thinner than he wanted. Four reds,
four blacks. Playing for the red, straight is no
problem but if he plays the run-through he is going to kiss the
red just below the one he is potting so he has to judge the cannon off it
or he is maybe even looking at screwing into them. You would think
he would be able to judge it. It is hard to tell unless you down on
shot. But straight would not be a problem. If he has a bit of work to
do with the cue ball, it could go wrong.
That is quite a thin cut to take the pink on. He was hoping to just push
that pink into a better position than it has finished up. 41 in
front. Does he keep things tight here? He is back looking at the
pink. That is where he would like to put the cue ball if he can, cut the
pink into the middle pocket and that is what he is going to play. Key
shot. No. Has he got onto that red or has
he been fortunate? If Ding can get through to it, he can get across the
table for blue or pink. Yes, he can get through it but he has to be a
bit wary of the in off into the middle pocket. He will be aware of
that. Had struggled in that he has landed
absolutely perfect on the blue. There is one loose red at the site
and I think the reason it struggled, he was a bit aware of the
possibility of the in off. I think he should play the cannon here, not
play it hard, a gentle cannon to open the reds. It is too difficult
to play for a particular ball but he needs a good split. And he has got
it. What a chance now. Mark Selby
thought long and hard about whether to take the pink or put a colour
safe and play a safety shot and he decided on the tricky cut into the
middle and it did not come off. He came to the table 41 points behind.
All of the reds in the middle of the table. But it needs total
concentration and, in particular, good cue ball control. That will
make it easy, or easier. He doesn't have to play any cannons,
the little triangle of reds, if he pots the one to the left, it will
clear the other two. It is all about keeping close control.
Concentration. He was thinking of running through but it could go
wrong so back up for the blue. If he had played the run-through for the
black, he would have been running into another red but he has just let
that slip. Has he got an angle on this blue? I think he might just
have one. He needs one. He is almost straight but I think he can still
get on that one to the left of the four. He is playing the run-through
so he feels he can pinch of it here. -- pinch a bit here. This is where,
psychologically you start thinking about the frame. He is seven points
behind, red and a black would put him one point in front and then he
knows exactly what is required to clinch the frame at this visit. He
has not thought about it so far, just thinking about getting those
points. And he has missed it! And he missed it because he did not get the
right angle on the blue, if he had done he would have been closer to
the red. For the first time we see a reaction from him, he is annoyed
with that. That was a pretty easy pot that he missed.
He is on the pink but he might be absolutely dead straight here which
means he can't do much with the cue ball.
He feels he has got a slight angle here, it looks straight, there is
not much of an angle. This is a similar type of shot to the one that
Ding missed into the other corner. This is a frame that I am sure Mark
Selby was sat in his seat a few moments ago thinking it had passed
him by. He is favourite to take it now and go to the mid-session
interval with a two frame advantage. It was just a little lapse in
concentration from Ding. I mean he would normally knock that in 19
times out of 20, even more. But it just shows you how you can play one
poor positional shot, he was just too straight and even though that
red looked easy, it was just off straight but if it was straight he
could have stunned it in and no way he was missing it but with the angle
he was trying to pinch a bit of the pocket. That black going in now, 29
points ahead, no heroics on this red, just roll it in and go 30 ahead
with 27 remaining. He will be birdieing this. Not bothered about
the colour. He will be quite happy just to roll to the black and play
the snooker, 30 ahead with 27 remaining. And Ding Junhui has
missed a golden opportunity to square the match before the
mid-session interval. He will have that interval to think about the
missed red. Ding, you never know, if he can hit
this yellow and get it says, once snooker. It would not be the first
time we have seen it happen. It is coming over the corner pocket,
hang on! I thought he might have fluked the snooker. Maybe he can't
pot it. It is tight. He can't risk playing a little swerve because he
could hit the black. And at all costs you would not take that
chance, Dennis. He is looking at the side cushion to come off it and pot
the yellow, that is quite ambitious. Not sure about that one. I think he
could have played thin off the yellow. Up on the balcony there, a
reaction from family and friends. Ding didn't quite get the required
screw to get in behind the black. It was difficult but if the yellow
doesn't pass the brown, at least it is safe and it doesn't. He will
still have a chance here and with that black there, it is not a bad
position to try to lay a snooker behind. I was thinking exactly the
same, John. But will England wait to get a chance to get in behind it? --
will Ding Junhui get the chance. Mark Selby is pretty good at playing
snooker 's as well. Just one four point snooker needed by Ding Junhui.
That is usually the best way to stop the opponent getting a snooker,
snooker him. Easy to hit, he has got to get it
safe. He has got to get it safe. Hang on! He is in behind the brown!
Would you believe it? The twists and turns that can happen on a snooker
table. A puff of the cheeks tells me that Mark Selby can get to this off
one cushion and if he can, easy hit. This frame is not over just yet.
There could be a possibility to get this cue ball in behind the black. I
know he can stun it and get the snooker behind the pink but if he
can get tight behind the black... He is just playing the up and down
shot. I don't blame him for that. It needs to slow up to make it
difficult and it has done. This is not a guaranteed hit. Mark Selby
does not miss many, that is for sure. And I suppose that was the
right way to play it because you were more or less guaranteed the
snooker but you do not fancy him to miss this. Is he going to push the
black? It is not quite as good now as it was before. For the snooker in
behind. It is the first to 17 that goes through to the final.
Can he get the snooker that could bring it back all square? Mark Selby
just with a bit of nervous energy. Obviously a good favourite to win
the frame but you never know, you are on a knife's edge when somebody
need the snooker but the imperative thing for Ding is to get the yellow
safe. If he can't get the snooker, at least if you get the object ball
safe you can get another chance but if he leaves it on, that is end of
frame. If he hits the cushion first, there is a way of knocking it up
past the black and possibly getting in behind it. If he comes off the
side cushion and hits the yellow football, it would double the yellow
out past the black. That is not a bad effort. There
might be a gap. If it is full ball behind the blue, but there is a gap
between brown and blue to hit the cushion. Another easy escape. That
hasn't helped, putting the green safe, that hasn't helped Ding but he
might be able to get white behind the black this time with a little
screw shot. It is more difficult to get behind now than before it was
moved. Here it comes but where is the
yellow? Almost doubled the yellow but has he got the snooker? APPLAUSE
You have got to cut out the one-cushion escape at this level if
you are going to get any reward for the snooker. Where is this cue ball
going? Mark could have a snooker of his own here. That is amazing, to
get the yellow over that pocket and the white over this pocket from that
position. What a result he has had their.
He has left the yellow on. I think it is into full-time. -- it is
interval time. Ding might decide to play on because you would not think
that Mark could get position on the green so it is two snookers required
and where the black is, it might encourage Ding to play on.
Absolutely. He has no intention of walking out of the arena just yet
for the mid-session interval. A chance here, push the green up and
down the table and get that cue ball in behind the black. He needs it
tight behind but it just swung off the cushion. He might have the
snooker but even if he has it looks like an easy swerve. He doesn't need
the swerve. Mark trying to knock the brown near
the top cushion but he has left it in a position where, if he got a
snooker behind it, it would be good but he will be trying to get in
behind the black again and this is at a better place and a good line
and is it tight? APPLAUSE Has he cut out the one-cushion
escape? He needs so much side on this, he
will have to try to make the angle with loads of left-hand side to
swing it over towards it. He had a bit more room than I thought and
there was no problem. He can always pot the green because the brown is
not in an ideal position here. It just means there is one less ball to
snooker behind. He would love to lead the green on the table but I
don't think he can avoid putting it. He had to. He couldn't have finished
much worse than that in all honesty. He can't get in behind the black,
just maybe get the snooker behind the pink. But if he is going to
force Mark Selby to miss, he has got to get it tight to these snooker
rink balls and so far he has not been able to do that. -- snookering
balls. That was a good shot from Mark. Can
Ding get the brown safe? He didn't want to risk trying to cut
the brown in because there was a possible in off to the right middle
pocket. If he doesn't get the double-kiss, he might get over
behind the black here. The double-kiss is on.
But if he pots it, it is definitely frame over. APPLAUSE
And in it goes and Mark Selby, he started this session with a two
frame advantage and was pulled back to 12 or at the start of this
session. He has now won three of the first four frames and nonchalantly
knocks in the pink and tries to pot the black while it is moving. That
is what Mark Selby wanted, winning three of the first four frames and
Ding Junhui is two frames behind again but don't rule him out.
But as you said, Mark is only two frames away from a place in a fourth
final and has shown such positivity. There was just a sign from Ding
Junhui when he missed that red after failing to get position from the
blue that he was getting a little agitated. By this time of the
tournament, you are not supposed to be missing anything but of course
it's impossible. You are forever trying to pinch part of the pocket,
not always right in the middle and you would have hoped that Ding
Junhui could have rolled that in. But unfortunately, as John Virgo
said, if you play a dead straight stun shot and hit the ball with
authority you usually get it in but when you parole them in, there is
always the possibility it might roll off -- you have to roll them in.
Mark Selby is obviously not impervious to pressure and there was
a couple of moment he thought he did not get a good run of the balls. He
has friends in the gallery and if things don't go right he is smiling
at the commentary or the studio and he is feeling it as well definitely.
There is no need to begrudge bad luck because he has had a fair share
in this match, it tends to even out over long matches, but it was a
differs -- a disappointing miss for Ding Junhui. A couple of times he
has given it the heavy shoe walk back to the chair, trudging a bit,
and that is a bad sign because he has looked pretty positive through
most of the match. If you were in his corner like Terry Griffiths will
be, what encouragement can you give him at this stage to keep punching?
I don't think there are many words left. It is a case, he knows what
yesterday when he comes out, he doesn't have that much breathing
space. He will probably get himself in a better frame of mind for this
second session because he will go, I've got nothing to lose, I've got
to go for it. He doesn't have the worry of anything behind him,
looking over his shoulder, it is foot to the floor and let's see what
we can do and compete. He always goes to the practice table, whatever
the score, he will always be on the practice table, it is just what he
does. He will be getting a bit of rhythm going and hopefully if he
gets a chance he can get active at one visit scoring which has been his
strength. I know you were both very dominant champions and Mark
currently is that add his opponent is the underdog and getting quite a
lot of support, a syndrome you both recognise? Exactly come interesting
how the crowd are responding, it is the ultimate testament to how good
Mark Selby is. Nobody is doing yet! He is not at our level yet! --
booing. He is certainly getting to that level where people expect him
to win. We will be back very shortly over on BBC Two because while they
are at the interview will -- at the interval we will switch channels and
we will be back for the deciding session. I hope you will join us
there in just a few moments. Put the kettle on and we will see you in
about ten minutes. Goodbye for now. The East End girl who became the
nation's favourite. We don't know what it is,
but she definitely has... Something.