Monday, Final, Afternoon Snooker: World Championship

Monday, Final, Afternoon

Similar Content

Browse content similar to Monday, Final, Afternoon. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Good afternoon, 900 seats are being taken here inside the Crucible


Theatre and I hope you have cleared the decks and are settling in for


one of the great days in sport, it is the 17th and final day in our


annual snicker marathon. What a story is unfolding in a Crucible


final. The world number one, Mark Selby, he does like to do things the


hard way and he will have do, again because John Higgins is bidding for


a fifth worth title, some 19 years after his first is in vintage form,


again. This is it, the big one welcome to the final of the 2017 bet


Fred Welt -- welcomes the final of the 2017 Betfred World Championship.


And man of immense college and determination, John Higgins.


Defending champion unbowed number one, the Jester from Leicester, Mark


Selby. There is nothing like the final of the World Snooker


Championship. You do not give Mark Selby anything. The defending


champion goes ahead. He goes to clear, now. That is a huge frame


with John Higgins to pinch. He is leading by six frames to two. He


looked a bit nervy, can the defending champion take the second


session? Keeping it tight and it just gets worse for Mark Selby. He


is now six frames behind. What a brilliant shot, the last two shots


of them superb. Still behind but he has a foothold in the match. He will


not be happy with that. The match was beginning to slip away from Mark


Selby, he is still three frames behind and there was all to play


for. A fascinating first day. I do nothing anyone could foresee what


would happen to Mark Selby by not coming out of the starting blocks,


John Higgins was looking the better of the two the same in the evening.


Think Mark Selby would be pleased to come out only 7-10, behind. Giving


John Higgins missed a trick last night? I think so, a couple of


colours, pink especially into the middle pocket, you have to save them


John Higgins multipack blue'... You Frisbee inexpert, give as a


prediction. Yes I am, and I defy anyone to predict what will happen


today. John Higgins is featured here for the last 22 years, took in only


four times to land the title, 22 years of age in 1998, then came the


longest ever wait between victories at the Crucible, nine years, until


he did it again, in the final decade later against a young Mark Selby,


two more titles followed in 2009 and now six years on he is bidding to


join Ronnie O'Sullivan with a fifth world title. Now, as the Mark Selby,


that front of the 2007 final where he would will back it Higgins after


a bad start served notice of his promise and his grit, and seven


years later in 2014, Selby rebranded in his final to overtake Ronnie


O'Sullivan and this time to win. Last year came a second success. He


is going for a third world title today. And Mark Selby will have to


stage a dramatic comeback if he is to join Bonnie O'Sullivan and others


to successfully defend the world title here inside the Crucible


Theatre. In fact only another couple of guys have got close to doing


that. Yes, this place has thrown up some fantastic comebacks in its 40


year history, can Mark Selby become part of that history or can John


Higgins win his fifth world title at the age of 41, this place was like a


marketplace only five minutes ago bustling, now it is just the players


and it is so quiet you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. We got the


smell from John Higgins yesterday and we might get a thumbs up to


date. I read it Rose John is ready, Marcus ready, the players are ready.


-- are you ready? Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen this is the day


we crowd the 2017 Betfred World Championship, we know both men have


won it before and are both desperate to get their name on the famous


trophy once more. This without doubt has the makings of one of the


all-time classic last days here at the sport's spiritual home, the


Crucible. Please welcome a player who has been


at the top of his sport for more than two decades, he is already


regarded as one of the all-time greats will stop his form yesterday


was the perfect reminder of why he has amassed 28 ranking titles. One


of Scotland's finest sportsmen. He comes the Wizard of Wishaw, John


Higgins. MUSIC: Iron Sky


by Paulo Nutini And his opponent, plays Jenny has


taken him from humble beginnings to the top of the world and he has done


it all with humour, humility and sheer class. Last night the final


three frames proved just how good he is under pressure, and huge day for


the defending world champion, the Jester from Leicester, Mark Selby.


MUSIC: Eez-eh by Kasabian


Settle in, the aid frames play this afternoon and we will share the


first part of that in the company of two men who know what it is like to


win one of Snooker's three majors, in fact read between you, I believe.


COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Hazel, and of course...


The buzz around the hotel last night, everyone was saying who was


the favourite? A lot of people said Mark Selby was. I find it hard to


believe, being three frames behind. These four frames could be the key.


An awful lot of frames have been played this year. And John Higgins


has played his 100 frame, believe it or not. -- is playing his 100th


frame. 41 you are old, looking for a fifth world title. At one stage it


looked as if we might not have an evening session away John was going.


But the defending champion came right back. It is difficult to


predict a winner. If John Higgins can share the mini


sessions you will become champion. So, just having a look here at the


situation. There is attentive to the left corner but with the black and


the pink being out of commission. He has to avoid the red.


He courted very thin. Catching the yellow, not a good safety. -- he


could it thin. A risky pot. Hard to see a reward for it.


A good length of the cue ball. APPLAUSE


It has gone towards the corner pocket. Brilliant tactical play


between these two players. It really was. In the Huybrechts when they get


a chance, at that magnificent 141, and Mark 121. -- in the high breaks.


They are even in that apartment, now. That is for the whole


tournament. For this match, they are so evenly matched. John, just ahead


in this much. Yes and maybe that is why Mark Selby is free frames


behind. I was thinking the parting and the safety, you have got to be


90% or above. -- I was thinking the parting macro and the safety. This


is what Mark is looking at and read near the corner the problem. He's


frightened to leave it. Can he nestle up to it? Can he get in


behind it? Kenny get back to baulk and not leave the red?


Played a thin one. Left the red barn. I am looking at it as we show


you the shot again... The red is almost straight, the pink


and black tied up. Mark will realise that as he sits down.


Now he is catching the other red. It was not quite as bad as we first


thought when Mark missed the red completely going up.


It is a tricky little blue with the rest. If it was straight you would


not expect him to miss it. We will would have known whether it


was in before he did, no. It was tough, as I say. If it was a


straight blue it would not be a problem. It just shows you, as we


see, you make a bad mistake in your back at the table and the reds are


open. I think the pink is now available.


That will be key. The black is out of commission. He any has the pink


to work with. He was the wrong side of the road.


-- the wrong side of the red. He get to the state in these type of


situations where you don't know whether to take a risk, there was a


possibility of parting the red to the left corner and bring them back


into play. It is whether it's worth the risk to try and open the frame


and give you a chance to score heavily.


I am certain Mark Selby knows the importance of this first


mini-session, these four frames. He is thinking about it. If he can


win three out of 40 will any be one behind. He is thinking whether it


will be worth it to pop the red and bring the black one into play. We


thought the pink rent and I'm surprised you didn't play for it


when it went up to the green. It looks like it goes. He's decided to


go for Abott colour. Back in a similar position again.


Believe it or not. It will not be easy to score many from the


situation. There was a little cannon to get up


there. I would like to take that one again. Having said that, he has


slipped past the blue. It looked like he would land on the blue,


there. There is the wonderful Crucible Theatre and I love this


shot is using mean and it shows you the length of the table. 12 foot by


six foot. That rummy was the right shot.


APPLAUSE -- but for me. John Higgins will do


well to keep it safe. Particularly when you're coming off a cushion


quickly it's hard to judge, sometimes.


He did not want to slip from the back of that.


APPLAUSE It will not cut back it is far too


thin. He's taking the pot on here but it


is sort of a free shop. -- shot. He tried to get on the yellow but


even that was not going to be easy having popped the red. A little bit


of an awkward frame, here. Playing the safety shot, highly unlikely he


would plant one red and to the other.


What he needed was a good cue ball which he has not got. I think Mark


will be able to get his hand on the table in the yellow, to interfere


with the Bridgend. Second out from the left is the one. A three


quarters ball pot. He does bridge long, sometimes. Can he get his hand


on the table? The cue was very far from his bridge


hand. Result. And that sums up the snooker, really. This match could


swing on a run of the ball here. Or a plant that appears from nowhere.


As we show you this attempt, once he missed it he thought he would put


John Wright in amongst them and then he gets that double-kiss twice. --


he would put John in amongst them. Amazing, and if you can get away


with it you can make all the difference.


The one thing that John was desperate to do, there, on the


right-hand side of the table was to cover it with green. Otherwise he


would have left an easy safety shot from Mark. The fact that Mark is not


looking at the red tells me he has covered it.


And Mark had the same problem. APPLAUSE


A good tap of the table. As I say, normally you would play to get to


the baulk cushion, but he did not leave the red. There is no gap




That finished awkward. He can hit the red that is next to


the blue, but it is not easy to send it up the table. He will leave the


white back in the safety area, because he could pan into the blue


if you tried that. -- he could pan and into the blue.


There was a few frames like this yesterday and it was fascinating to


see who would make the best mistake, it is an awkward table blacks


surrounded with five reds. That did not look possible, to


overcooked but shot. -- to overcooked that shocked. And that is


probably why he missed it, he was probably thinking that if he hated


it as thin as he could it would go in, to overcooked it is remarkable.


If Mark Selby is re-watching this, if you cannot get through it direct,


he can play one into the overcome his.


That is what he played one red into the other. Switch that light off


please! Looks like he's on the black which opens up the frame completely.


What a bonus that was. Is it tied up now? I think he will be hoping it


still goes but it does not look like it does.


Amazingly he did not move many reds. No, it does not go. OK he has the


easy read on the left corner but he is hampered.


APPLAUSE This table is playing beautifully


because that did not look as if it would get around the ankles, the


pace of the table, I know they were concerned about the cushion behind


the black not bouncing correctly but it seems to be beautifully.


Turning into a decent chance. Probably for portable reds.


He did not hit that hard enough. That was a poor shot from Mark. He


should've been more straight on the pink. Now he has a bit a problem. He


tried to let the side to do the work and play it on the right-hand side


but for reason, as you say, he has finished short. OK, you can pop the


pink but he has taken the cue ball away from the red and surely it is


too risky to play the pink in the middle.


Just struggled its way in. He would never be good on the next red. He


needs a good pot here. There it looked as if the pink would not go


in. It wobbled three times. Have a look...


And in. Any harder and it would've missed.


APPLAUSE A tremendous pot. But no position.


It is one of those, you really think it is a puff shot Andy think BOOING


Put all your concentration. -- it is one of those, a tough shot.


We never realise how much the balls bounce from the table in particular


with the superfine cloth is. Have a look at this again of course when we


were playing there was no such thing as slow motion cameras.


Much too thin. There is a chance for Mark Selby he has a 30 point lead.


He needs to get a good position on the pink.


APPLAUSE Doesn't want to be straight. There


is a red, if you look to the left of the black, it is pottable, as is the


one below the black. He couldn't, so he has played for


the red just below the black. It will be awkward cueing, here. He


just needs 17 points to get to the snick required state. -- to get to


the snick required stage. Good shot!


APPLAUSE Keep saying I have not seen anyone


as good as Mark Selby when he's bridging over of balls. He is


amazing because he not only gets the pot bookie generate enough pace to


get the position. It is such a difficult shot striking down. He is


the best I've ever seen at it. He looks to be a bit straight on


this pink. What is it? Eggplant? Does he see a plant? -- a plant?


I can only assume that, because otherwise, why would you play this


shot? I think he's playing safe. It was too straight on the pink,


couldn't do anything about it. And he knows the importance of this


frame. When he came to the Crucible Theatre, he had one priority in his


mind : Win the first frame. And he is favourite to do that now.


REFEREE: foul and a miss. What my good luck with replacing these! --


good luck with replacing these! He's having a glance at Mark, but


thankfully, he's playing it from here.


It was the side he put on that that threw it into the brown. He has kept


this frame very tight, has Mark Selby.


APPLAUSE John Higgins hasn't had a pot to


look at. This is not a bad shot. Purposely


played it with a bit of pace because of the situation of the brown and


blue. He is favourite now to take four


frames in a row. It really was a terrific display last evening, to


win the last three. There was one person in the Crucible


liked that last shot, a loan clapper.


The reds running loose, he needs a good cue ball? Where is it going? In


the pocket! Just caught it a fraction too thick, the safety. And


of course, ball-in-hand, looking at the red to the middle. This red and


the black... Will put him 60 points in front with


just 59 remaining. He's got to be careful there. He


left the rest on the table. If you touch one of the balls with the cue


or the rest, it is a foul. And when you finish your short with the rest,


you have to give it to the referee. You have to take it off the table.


That is the ball that means that John Higgins needs a snooker. Highly


unlikely he will get back to the table now. Didn't really have much


chance, and if there was any little run of the ball going in this frame,


it certainly went the way of Mark Selby. One particular long shot that


he missed and got the double-kiss, which left it safe.


But just the start the defending champion was looking for. He will


know in the back of his mind that he wants to win this session at least


5-3. He's got the perfect start. Not quite. I don't think John


Higgins will bother coming back to the table. He doesn't, nods


concession. He trails 10-8. Hazel Irvine: Steve, John, myself and all


of you are watching this final eagerly, and the awaited comeback is


on, because having one the last three last night, there is a bit of


deja vu about this from a finals perspective for Mark was Mike same


thing with Ronnie O'Sullivan. It is looking the same. He came back to


beat Ronnie 18-14, so he has got previous. It has become a trademark


for Mark Selby, this comeback. Suddenly. The first frame, very


important to get on the board. It was understandably a bit of a


tactical frame, when nobody was trying to take any risks will stop I


think the way he has won it, you will be quite pleased with it. He


never actually had to make any big decisions, really big decisions, or


put it all on the line. It was virtually identical to the one


Higgins played last night at 8-4, and there was a bit of that in that


one. He was so determined to win the frame, it didn't matter how he won


it. At the start of each session, it is like to make boxes feeling each


other out. As the session unfolds, the players open up a bit, take more


risks once they know their cue arm is going right. John will be looking


over his shoulder at the moment and needs to steady the ship. It was the


longest frame in this final so far. It has been very free-flowing and


hugely enjoyable. APPLAUSE


COMMENTATOR: Not a bad break off, just the one red came out. The


pyramid is more or less intact. It looks as if Mark Selby's set his


stall out to play very, very tight snooker here to get back in this. It


seems as if he is going to make life very difficult for John Higgins and


he's not going to be risking anything. With the red up the other


end of the table, and only stalemate. -- an early stalemate.


Not touching any red, otherwise the referee would have declared that.


He will just roll back into them again, because he can't take that


red next to the yellow from that position. If he gets a chance, he


could send it up the table and get the frame back to normal, but that


is all that is available at the moment. It may be a touching ball


now. No? Some referees would find it


difficult to see from that position whether they were touching or not,


but this referee is about six foot four and doesn't have that problem.


23 years he has been refereeing. And he has been one of the best, no


doubt about it. And that is going to get the frame


back to normal. John wants that to run a little bit. I think he is a


bit short of pace. He wanted to cover the red near the yellow,


because if Mark can get to the right-hand side of the red as he


looks, quite an easy return to baulk. Six hours of tough match


snooker. I don't think he can hit that red without swerving it, and


that's what he's going to do. And that's the frame back to normal




John Higgins knocked a pot like this in yesterday, bridging over the


yellow, and it was an incredibly long red.


And he's got it again! APPLAUSE


What brilliant cueing to knock Latin. -- to knock that in.


CROWD GROANS I don't know why he hit it that


hard. It was as if he wasn't ready to play the shot.


That's the third black he has missed off the spot. He has got an angle on


the blue here. Someone moving in his line of sight there, but he is


playing this with a terrific amount of left-hand side. He is going to go


between the yellow and brown, off the bottom side cushion, and then


into the reds. Look at this shop he has played!




-- look at this shot he has played. The pace you are generating into the


cue Bull, particularly as he was stunning in between the yellow and


brown. You would think, first chance he gets, get up the table, get


leaping back down this end. You would like to have the pink back at


this end. Just checking to see if he can get position on the black. He


could play for the black and still be on the blue. Stunning round off


two cushions. Needs to miss the blue... And he didn't. Well, he may


be able to cut the pink in. I would rather be thinking of cutting the


pink in and trying to find a path for the cue ball and potting the


blue. It depends how difficult he thinks the pink is, but he's going


for it. APPLAUSE


Well, he didn't quite hit that as thin as he intended, because it went


in off the jaws. There is a path around the back of that red that is


mere percussion. -- that is near the cushion. That is amazing. He has had


the first two frames with all the run of the ball. Very, very


fortunate there. And John is smiling to himself. What a difference that


makes, when you make a mistake like this and leave absolutely nothing.


That is why we say it is a cruel game. There is no really good safety


shot on here, so he will just be playing to contain safety. As you


say, Dennis, in these longer matches, there is time for it to


turn around. And we could be in for another long


frame. With that red up at the other end of the table, and that one has


joined it, just past the blue spot, another very awkward looking frame.


I used to hate these frames, John. It is just a case of tip tapping for


a while. He did bring the black interplay,


the -- he is bringing the black into play. It is an important safety


exchange, this, now. Just a little drop into the reds,


you would imagine. That was dangerous, he had to find


the top cushion, and he didn't. The pink has now gone safe. In fact, he


didn't find the top cushion, and you would expect Mark Selby to play a


better safety shot than that. Just looking, if he hits the bottom


one, will be red go towards the left middle? There are already seven reds


at the other end of the table. There might be a few more before we


resolve this situation. This was John's shot as he tried...


Look at the white... When it bounces, it takes the back spin off


it. This was the last thing that John


Higgins wanted, two friends like this. He had a three frame


advantage, and he hasn't had a shot at a ball, hasn't got in amongst


them at all. -- two frames like this. Patients... That's the key at


the moment. -- patience. The reason players


don't like these type of frames is that if someone goes for a risky


pot, or you can't get it safe, all the red Czar there for the taking,


so you know that if you make one mistake, it could be your last shot


in the frame. There are only three reds left that


this side of the table. Well, what an unusual frame.


He was just right and that the second red might not go towards the


far left corner here. There was only one red left on this side of the


table. I don't think I've ever seen a frame quite like this. They have


made a right mess of it. Neither... Oh, he has left it. Can


you believe that? To wobble and go across. I was starting to think,


where was the safety going to be? There was nothing at this end to


play behind, but that red... The run of the ball certainly still not


favouring John. It is going to have to be the green,


I think. But if he can get the blue back on its spot in a couple of


shots' time, he will have a chance. He was very unlucky there, John


Higgins. I'm sure he was just trying to knock that red onto the cushion


and send the black back up the table. Let's show you it again. He


is not playing to pot this. He is playing it on to cushion to send it


up the table. It wobbled in the jaws and stayed over the other corner


pocket. It was very unfortunate. There are only the three colours he


can play for at the moment, Mark. He won't risk playing the pink or the


black, or even the brown. The red he would like to get rid of, sooner


rather than later, is the one immediately to the right of the blue


at the moment. That is stopping the blue going into both metal pockets.


So, just playing an area here, because if he could get on that red,


it would be a bonus. There are other reds to play for obviously. It looks


pretty good. As I say, he is playing for a choice of three reds, but the


one to the right of the blue is the one he would love to be on. He is


hampered, so he will play for the green or yellow now.


Already got a 29 point lead. Big favourite now to take this second


frame of this third session. I think the red just above the


yellow goes to the far left corner, so... The reds that he needs are in


the open, but the more low value colours he takes that -- the more


low value colours he takes... Yeah, he's going to have to pot an awful


lot of balls for not many points, but as long as he keeps potting


them, he will get to the winning line.


And he is well on his way to winning five frames in a row.


Now, where has he finished here? 40 ahead. Still needs a few more. I


think you can just stun in between the two reds and back out. That


would give a choice of yellow or green here.


Now, according to the side bar, he needs another 29 points to get to


snookers required. With that yellow and green that he is playing for,


that is another three reds required. Not quite a formality yet. There is


what he has potted side two blues, four greens, and a yellow. Make that


two yellows. Yes, and clever thinking, 46 points in the league.


Red and blue will put on 52 points in front with just 51 remaining. So,


that is how he has got his nine points - red, yellow, red, blue.


APPLAUSE It does not really matter, the wrong


side of the blue. Just make sure that the blue, he will not try and


power attending ghetto for the two red that a Navy of the cushion. --


power it in. He has kept his concentration, he


did not rush this break. It is such an unusual situation with all the


reds at the other end of the table. It is not a straightforward break so


you have to plan your way around it. APPLAUSE


It would have been more straight forward if he was in amongst the


pinks. It took well over eight minutes to compile that 40 break,


but it was important. You would not give John much chance


in this frame, there's nothing to play behind, here.


That red, what do you think about the red just behind the yellow? I do


not think John can get to it. APPLAUSE


Good shot! To keep it at one snick required he will have to play the


double. No other shot available to him.


He looks around at Mark Selby... Two very tactical frames, he has taken


both of them and all other son didn't he is just frame behind. John


Higgins 15 in a row LANS is final and this is fired in a row for Mark


Selby and he was gifted the chance from Mark Higgins. It never looks


good when you missed them it looks like he is bashed it. If it goes in


the middle and you split the reds opened, it is the hero shot. John


Higgins is reeling. 10-4, it is tough to get that lead out of Europe


brain and you are being reeled back in.


# It is tough to get that lead out of your brain. I know what that


feels like to have someone breathing up on your shoulder. Somewhere down


the line John will steady the ship, it is usually when sudden parity


sets in and then you can start to compete, again. It's been tough job.


He not happy, he he's been looking up at the commentary box, he thinks


the light is bright. Do you feel, John, that yesterday was such a


golden opportunity for Selby so far off his game, it was extraordinary


to witness, that perhaps he is kicking himself that it did not take


the bed branded? He would have been like that, it was mentioned about


one hour or two hours, he would have been steaming, that it was only


10-7. It is still there in the back of his mind. It is just how you


approach it. At the moment Mark Selby has played to rock-hard


brains, and slowly but surely he's clawing his way back as it always


does. -- two rock-hard frames. We consider John Higgins has bolded


bit, it in the interview he will say he blew it if you lose is this


match. That is at the highest possible level, so it is not that


embarrassing. There was a long, long way to go.


COMMENTATOR: Yes, in fairness we can have a look at John Higgins but it


is probably a terrific long read. He missed the black which you can do, I


agree he did not hit it smoothly, but he has not had a decent chance,


yet. He has had a bad run of the ball, Mark Selby has got away with


it a few times, he has had a series of cannons and left everything safe.


Let's even get going. Never easy striking down, he has hit


it to fall, which is wide that cue ball has any hit the blue spot area.


CROWD GROANS. Much too thick and the one he missed was the one that mark


could part but I am not sure he could get round the back of the


black. Wow, he had has played it with a


touch at the side. Has he got away with it, again? He was concentrating


so much on getting round the back of the black... This is the one


instance, when we see that red mist, you come to the table and be glad


that your opponent did not punish you. Looking up to leave anything


easy. And it is the, past the blue.


APPLAUSE Now, this is the first proper chance


that John has had. He will be kicking himself. He has


missed a sitter. And he did not leave anything easy.


That was a tremendous opening pot. John will recognise the importance


of this visit, to punish your opponent when they miss.


All of his intention was an train to get round the back of the black,


it's nearly dropped. -- Mark has got to sit there and suffer. He has hit


this too hard. He is not in perfect position, by any means.


APPLAUSE Good recovery. He would love to get


on the red that is next to the black. Having a look at the yellow.


John is quite an attacking player. He has played for the split, wow. He


is stuck on them. He thought about playing the green


and going back for the red necks to the black, and then he decided he


would take the bull by the horns and try and split them.


That was an awkward angle, but well played.


APPLAUSE He could not get the other side of


the blue, a delicate shop he played. He had to be careful not to push it


and he did well. Yes, the blue is taking him away from the red. The


pink wood offer a certain position but it is missable macro.


But the top spin but did not find of the gap. Plenty of top spin on it,


but it needed to get between the brown and yellow, there.


And much more open frame from the two previous weather balls went very


awkward. -- when the balls. He is to get a good length with the cue for,


here. The brown could come back down the table. That is why he's taking


this one. I tell you what's come out what a


good shot that was. I cannot think of many players that would have


chosen that is the safety. Well played.


A huge frame the John Higgins. He needs to start the rot, he has lost


five in a row. APPLAUSE


What are shot John Higgins is just tapping the table, there is no brown


there so there is only the yellow and green to trying get in behind.


Tapping the table. I would not have been tapping in my day. I believe


that players playing this safety are trying to get near the baulk


cushion. Very close, I'm sure Mark will have


it replaced, it all depends on whether brown was, really. It went


in off the brown, so he will have a pretty good idea. Might pick up the


monitor, there. Touched it. One of the top referees. To me, again. Keep


coming to me. He is a car park attendant.


LAUGHTER Move your hand. A touch to you. Yeah, yeah. That is near


enough. That is spot on, this is so tough to judge. He might come down


and hit the red and the pink. He has done the same thing again




The car park attendant again... LAUGHTER Better missing it a couple


of times than giving eight away. It is nice to see. They have had a chat


with each of John and Mark, and that was nice to see. -- they'd had a


chat with each other. OK, John? Mark? Thank you. Smiles all around


but now back to the serious stuff can catch the red?


Oh, hello! CHEERING


APPLAUSE Have you ever seen anything like


that before? LAUGHTER The one thing is says on


you have got to applaud the referee for putting the brown back in the


same place. Perfect, the rights to me.


LAUGHTER. Be quiet for a second. Bring the ball to me at touch. John?


Mark? LAUGHTER Come on, let's clipped it


this time, John. Brilliant! Chairing APPLAUSE


That deserves a tap on the table. -- CHEERING


That relieved a bit of tension, I can tell you.


There was a lot of tension in those two opening frames.


He can get down off the red the left of the pink.


He needed a bit more pace than that. He came up short of the baulk line.


We'll Mark Selby be tempted? He is looking... Yes, heating get on the


black here if he hits this correct. APPLAUSE


And look where he has finished. Right on the black.


APPLAUSE When it set off, have a look at this


now... That was not going in the pocket and then all of a sudden it


upheld nicely in. Amazing. -- is held nicely in.


All square. All the red senior in the middle of the table. -- all the


reds he needs. The frame will be at his mercy.


CROWD GROANS How many times have we seen that, when they take that as of


the pot. Mark has now missed three blacks off the spot. That is the


chance that John has been waiting for.


At the moment it seems chances are coming from unexpected messes.


This could be a pivotal moment. Never saw that coming.


I/O is pink when you get these chances, you come to the table...


-- I always think when you get these chances. You come to the table with


more relief because you are just glad to be back.


He just needs 28 more points to get to the snooker required stage.


Not a straightforward run to the winning post in this frame.


The red is next to the pink, alt commission, there is one text of the


cushion. John mentioned he needed for reds.


I like this shot. The red was always going to be over the middle pocket.


This is not where he wanted the cue ball. He has got the brown. That was


strange. A bit of adrenaline, I think. Absolutely. This is a


terrific shot, can he judge this a bit better?


Good solid cueing, nicely on the black. It looks like you get the


first on the scoreboard. -- it looks like he will get the


first frame on the scoreboard. That will give Mark Selby a lot to


think about. He was taking control before.


John Higgins and all his fans will be feeling better, now. A lot of his


family are here. It is worse that the family watching


the displaying. -- it is worse for the family watching Bennett is for


the supplier. APPLAUSE


This will make John Higgins Phil and four lot better. -- this will make


John Higgins Phil an awful lot better. He is 2p bend the head,


again. There is one more to play aboard the middle session interval.


Psychologically, how important just to keep Mark Selby from drawing


level with him, he still has them at arms length put littered with


mistakes. There were two misses in that frame, the best one on the red


in the middle pocket, you cannot believe he has missed it. That is


never read he's going to miss. The funny thing is, I said to you off


there, it will be interesting to see it the make something, we know we


talking about the world number one, but there is something psychological


bar during level. When you have done all the hard work to graft your way


back in when you can win the frame, there was something about it that


adds a bit of pressure. I thought there might of been a mistake. What


is clear is that neither of them are impervious to pressure. It is


fascinating. To the greatest players and scorers on the days and they are


playing like scared kittens. It is marvellous for it. It is impossible


to predict how it will come. Do not see at the moment how anyone would


take the game by the scrub of the neck, but somebody probably will. --


by the scope of the neck. We don't usually see mistakes like this at


the well final. The more exciting for that.


Last frame before the mid-session interval.


Can John Higgins take it and shared the session? Can he keep the


advantage he had at the start of the session?


No, I thought everyone thought it was going to slip in behind the


brown. If John can get through to the side


of the reds... Of course, when you get to these final sessions of a


World Championship, Dennis, Mark Selby would have come out today, set


himself a little girl, to win three copy first four Prince. Having won


the first two, if John Higgins wins this next frame, and it is as you


were, so to speak, it will be a blow to Mark Selby, particularly when he


looks back and sees the black off the spot.


APPLAUSE There is a lot of pressure on Mark


here. If he comes out of this little mini-session of four frames two


apiece, he will not be happy, and neither should he be. He has had the


run of the ball, he has had the opportunities and not taken them.


And just maybe, that little situation where John kept missing


and going in off the brown, having a laugh with Mark and the crowd, maybe


that has just settle him down. Not only the plant, but look at the kiss


on the brown. Well, that's... You can't pick that shot out. He's very


good at angles, but that was an amazing plant. The kiss on the


brown... John will be thinking. I have always said Mark Selby is a


shotmaker, but he didn't put his hand up and apologise, so maybe he


thought there was half a chance of that red going near the pocket. But


I agree with you, to get it, how many times out of 100 would you not


it in? -- knock it in? Well, the black's tied up with the


two red's. You think he would scatter them and develop not only


the reds and the pink, but he could clear one of the reds away from the


black. How hard would he hit it? Pretty hard... It did three the


black, but look where it has put it. At least he's got the pink and blue


to work with. Now, this will be interesting, when


the pink goes back on its spot, is it going to be available into any


pockets as much as you say, Dennis, with the blackout of commission, OK,


he has got the blue and baulk colours, but he needs the pink to be


available as well. Just going round to see if it goes


into the right corner. Looks as though it will.


He won't necessarily play for the pink, but it goes into the opposite


corner. He did. Sets it up nicely. Now, no easy misses here.


The reds are covering each other now, so he needs an angle from the


pink to come back off the cushion to disturb some, play at the top spin,


right-hand side. -- play it with top spin. He is annoyed at where he has


left the cue all, which makes it very difficult to bring the reds


interplay. The only downside of this is, to go into the reds, you will


have to play with right-hand side. With a lot of pace, he will have to


judge the throw of the side, which makes the pink missable. That tells


me he won't even attempt that. People pot the pink, and then


looking at another difficult plant. He could play the safety shot also.


That first plant was quite incredible. This is a bit easier.


But even that is difficult. So, he has played to leave the


plant. Yeah, but, well I'll be amazed if he plays it. It's too


risky, surely. There is no way he can guarantee it being safe. If the


cue ball was going back to baulk, playing the plan, I would have a go,


but as I said earlier, he is a shot maker. I can't believe this is the


right shot. Neither can he! On this occasion.


APPLAUSE Yeah, the first plant, he was


playing it as a shot to nothing. As you mentioned, John, he could play


that 100 times, the opening plant, and be lucky to get it. Lucky to get


it five or six times. In fact, it's worth another look at


the opening one. It takes some judgment, that. That was a useful


nudge on the brown, but it was a sort of free shot. Yes, and


sometimes you see those sort of shots, you know you have a good


angle to get back to baulk. The significant thing to me was, he


didn't put his hand up to apologise, which he would have done had it been


totally unexpected. APPLAUSE


You can't get a better length of cue ball than that. John Higgins, having


a look at these two reds. They are not a plant. There is a gap that


could be made. The fear I would have, if you hit it too thick, you


could carry the red near the black. -- you could cannon the red near the


black. He did. Where will be red go? John's turn to have a little run.


Just coming up to the minute mark for thinking time here.


I think he was trying to make it ultrasafe here. I'm surprised he


played that shot. That helps - touching ball. No value in going to


the baulk end, so just go off the side cushion. Nestled into the black


would be as good as anything. If you don't leave anything, as I say,


there is no advantage to going into the baulk end while that red is in


the baulk area. You just leave an easy safety shot for your opponent.


John might be able to take that red now. If he gets a good cue ball, he


could make it quite awkward for Mark Selby.


I'm just wondering if there is a possible chance of taking a pot on


back down the table. There are a lot of balls to avoid. He could just


snick this one in. APPLAUSE


He does pick out some terrific shots.


But when he tried a shot like this yesterday, he was further away and


he didn't reach the green. All sorts of trouble.


John will have to find a red to nestle onto.


The reds nearly pink, if he landed in that, it wouldn't be too bad. The


others you would be looking for the two near the cushion on the


right-hand side, just nestle onto that. I think he's playing into the


side of the reds here. But he doesn't want to play it with too


much pace push one into a pottable position. He wants just to land on




Well, can he get through to pot this red? He's having a very close look.


Can he turn it over with a trace of left-hand side?


It must be close. It is interesting him.


He thinks he can pot this. Remember the great Fred Davis were used to do


that? You would be sitting in your seat, thinking, this won't go, then


he would knock it down and everyone would cheer.


Oh... He just couldn't hit enough of it, as it turned out. Did he play it


with a trace of side? I think he did, turned it over a fraction too


much. When they are that close together, they are so awkward to


judge. This frame, like the three before, feeding off your opponent's


mistakes, you have got to punish them, and if John Higgins could go


into the interval still with a 3- frame advantage... After losing the


first two, remember, it would be job done. That is a chance. I won't take


anything for granted here. You can feel the tension in the air. Noisy


shots now. APPLAUSE


He missed one easy pink into that


pocket. But that is long gone from his memory bank.


Played it well, but looking at John's phase, I don't think he has


quite the angle he was looking for. He was looking for an angle to pot


the pink and maybe run into these three reds. He is now desperately


hoping that the left-hand one goes. It is tight.


He thinks it just goes. The chances of John winning the frame at this


visit, well, it is long odds, funny, but he is desperate to get back in


the frame, points wise. That will be his priority. Does this red go? Boy,


it's tight. Well, watch the red. That was well


judged, that. Just looking to see if that back red of the two is


available, so he must be pretty straight on the pink again. He has a


slight angle, so he may be able to cannon them.


On these lively cloth is, he could force the pink, nudge the reds. --


these lively cloths. So, he's not too sure about those


two. And that was the reason he screwed it back.


APPLAUSE He is back again, looking. Still not


sure. Well, he has convinced himself that


the bottom red does go. And he was right.


APPLAUSE . He has run too far and just push


the cue ball through an inch too far. Even a quarter of an inch. He


is not on the pink. You see it. So, he has only a safety shot shot to


play. But he has reduced his arrears to only five points, so right back


in the frame. APPLAUSE


Yeah, just looking at that, if he had it over again, he would have


played a little stun there, just make sure second red moved away a


bit more. A head scratcher. As I say, he is right back in the frame.


A massive frame now, this. Yellow and brown are the targets for


John here. Tight on the cushion. He has those two snookering balls.


That's pretty good. Judged perfectly. As you can see, that is


all that Mark can say. -- can see. APPLAUSE


I'm not sure if John would be tempted here to take this read up


past the blue. -- to take this red up past the blue, into the corner.


He's looking at it. Keeping it tight because he knows


they are going into the mid-session interval and he could still have his


three frame advantage. No risks at the moment.


Yes, and it's not a straightforward run back to the baulk end here. The


red in the middle of the table, as we zoom in. He may have to play a


containing safety here. If he played the red in the middle of the table,


he would have to avoid the two reds at the top cushion. Try to put the


cue ball near the black. That is all he could do, really.


Three fairly long frames. Because of the way the balls finished up. Still


fascinating snooker. They are both so good in the


tactical department, as we have mentioned so many times. They are


brilliant safety players. John, just ahead in the safety success


department. Where is the red going? Where is the


red? All of a sudden, the luck has turned around. As we said, sometimes


it evens itself out. But what a fluke that could be, because he is


on theblue. He needs to hit this with a bit of pace. He would love to


be able to get onto the blue, because that is the one that would


give you a chance at moving the two reds. He had to swerve around the


yellow and flick the blue. To get onto these two is difficult reds, he


would have to screw back for the blue.


Oh, he miscued. At least he potted it. He was trying to get near where


the green is so he could play a cannon.


That wasn't the angle. It was a good pot, but he could never get to the


two reds from that position. Seven points, the lead, now. But it is all


about who gets the next chance. APPLAUSE


Now, does Mark Selby take a risk and try to play a good safety here? It


is risky. But he doesn't want to just roll up to them, because he


would be handing the initiative to John, so... He has put a little bit


of distance between the balls, but not really put John under any


pressure here. And this is the fourth frame of this


session, and everyone has been 20 minutes plus. Both players being


extra careful, understandably. This frame has just gone over the


half-hour mark. It's a long day, Dennis, isn't it? I


think Mark is being ultra-careful. He is trying to find a difficult


spot to put John Higgins in, and he's trying to keep the reds safe


also. You would normally just get down and play twice across, of the


table, but he is trying to get the most difficult position he can to


put John in. I'm just wondering if John will take


the chance to get in behind the yellow, swing this cue ball around.


At the moment, both players are trying to make sure they keep the


reds safe also. S He can go down either side of the


table. The normal way would be to come off the right side of the red.


There's not a lot to play behind going that side. I'm surprised


there. I thought the first choice was to swing it round and get in


behind the yellow. All this tipping and tapping not to


leave a pot on. He's left a pot on here.


I think he's got an angle on the green to pot the green and move this


difficult red. With a bit of stun, he's pretty good


at this type of shot. If he double-kisses the red it will


stay. -- stay there. If anything he caught the green a


fraction too thin. If the green were in the middle of the pocket, he have


got it perfect. You'd be unlucky not to get a


snooker here. That's what he's looking at.


When the pressure is on, you're thinking don't miss it on the way up


and catch it on the way back. He's played it very well. Is there a


gap? No gap there. Advantage Mark Selby now. The colours all


available. The problem for John Higgins, hit


the red, can you get it safe? He's played it well. He's played it


very well. That's a little beauty. It's the frame that will take us to


the mid-session interval. It's the longest frame of this final so far.


I think John can get through to the red.


You're trying to put distance between cue ball and object ball


here. A snooker is a bonus. I think he's got the snooker. He's


going to have to hit the baulk cushion and come back. He's got to


go between the pink and blue. Makes it more difficult to know


where the red will end up. He's left it. This red cuts. Here's the chance


for John Higgins to go out of this mini-session. A tap on the table. I


don't know why. If he really wants to hit this red


off two cushions, not direct off the baulk cushion. Hit it off the side


and kick the red up the table. The white might even come back towards


the yellow and brown there. He has judged it. He needs a big


bounce with the red. He hasn't got it. This is a chance for Mark Selby.


There's a bit of pressure on this long red.


But it's the chance he was looking for.


You could play the blue. You could play the pink. It's whatever is


going to offer you position on the yellow.


He'd love to get the cue ball anywhere there. He'd have to power


the blue in to get right round there or play the pink to get there. The


only reason he's not playing the pink, because the pink is missable.


If he plays the blue, as you say, it's going to be an unbelievable


shot. I think he's going to roll the blue in and leave a more difficult


yellow. Under normal circumstances, if he were a few frames in front,


he'd play the pink I'm sure. But the blue is unmissable.


Yeah, he could never get it right round to where I had the circle up.


He tried to. But it was so difficult.


Because he was fairly straight on the blue, he was never really going


to be able to get there. No attempt at the pot. So John


Higgins will be mighty relieved to come back to the table. He's only


three points behind. That was about all he could do. Mark


Selby, if he can find the correct spot on the baulk cushion, he's got


the brown, the blue and the pink to get a snooker behind.


He could have played this better. It needs to pull up. This is aye


chance. He can get through to the yellow. I'm nearly certain he can


see enough of it. Might be a guide, if he passes the


blue. He hit it thick, that's why he's


cannoned on the pink. I didn't even think he could hit that much of the


pink. I don't think John did either. It all depends, the angle on the


yellow, he's got to be careful. He's got to be careful if he screws


back too far he could go off in a middle pocket.


That is definitely a deep screw off to the left middle.


That's all he could do. You see the line. It had gone in off in the


middle. This is the big shot. Five points the lead. Green, brown and


blue to just be one frame behind. The green was off its spot, which


did help. Always nice to win any frame, but to


win the longest frame of the match is even better.


APPLAUSE Unbelievable snooker. He has taken


the mini-session 3-1. He's now just one frame behind.


STUDIO: That was a frame, 45 minutes worth of real, tough, hard match


play snooker. We thought we were going to get that from the off. This


is the first time in effect that the match has slowed down to this


degree, Steve? Yeah blood out of a stone stuff. Possibly it's the


nature of how it's come to this point. It's not been dinning-dong


players -- ding-dong players making nice breaks. One was in front, the


other had to dig in. It's got nervy. Can you see why. Mark Selby knows


how to play this game. The respect from both players is massive. It


wasn't - it's not going to be like this all the time. Somewhere


down-the-line somebody will break free of that. Exactly, you guys have


so much experience in finals. You've about there and done it. At this


point in proceedings, you know, I'm sure, why are you experiencing --


what are you experiencing at this point? Different emotions from both


players. John Higgins has had the lead and is pegged back. Then back


in again. Mark Selby catch up all the time. Nearly got there, let it


go. You're going through everything. Rather like you say, this is like


moving day the third session. This is massive. It sets the tone for


what happens this evening. You can see both players are trying not to


make a mistake, perfectly understandable. It's hard snooker.


It is. But it's very enjoyable. I hope you're enjoying it at home.


Looks like we're in for a very long evening by the look of things. I


know Ken Doherty is watching this. I was going to ask you, when you came


back to try and defend your title in 1998, you came up a certain John


Higgins, it is remarkable to think 19 years later, he's still trying to


do something similar to Mark Selby. He's amazing in that regard, isn't


he? Incredible. He's there, 19 years, such a tough match player,


probably the toughest since Dave Davis. I think Mark Selby has taken


over that mantle. It is a complete war of attrition the first four


frames. Both players trying to outdo each other. They're forgetting how


to play. What they normally do is try and play, as Steve Davis said,


when one gets ahead, it becomes a bit a slug fest. If I had words of


wisdom for either player in the dressing room, I would say release


the shackles. If anybody can get a bit of momentum here, they can go on


and get two or three frames and get the balls open a bit and make some


breaks. At the moment, they're trying to do each other. They've got


bogged down. The pressure is getting to both players. A massive session


so far. The momentum is with Mark Selby. John Higgins needs to get a


little roll, get his head together and get whack the way he can play.


Ken, always words of wis Dom. If you were to to the up the numbers in


this year's Championship between the play here and a full qualifying


event here beforehand, you would realise we have played nearly 2,300


frames of snooker in the last few weeks. But what about the best shots


within those frames? I wonder, you'll be judge of this, we have a


few starters for ten for you. Four cushions - what a shot!


Fantastic shot. I thought it was possibly too straight to play that


shot. Excellent. The power it generated.


This is dead straight. Knock this for a long screw back. This is a


monster. Oh, my goodness! You cannot hit the


ball better than that. Tremendous pot.


Count the cushions with him. One, two, three, four - I'll tell you


what - and there's the green! What a shot. They don't come any better


than that. Brilliant. And a snooker to boot.


How is this for a shot? Wow! It was a cracking shot.


He's coming off side cushion, top cushion, lots of right-hand side.


This is risky. What a shot this is! Great shot! Oh, unbelievable! What a


time to play an exhibition come trick shot.


If he's taking this on, this is really tough. Oh, what a shot! That


was incredible. What a shot this will be. Oh, stop


it! He's got a beautiful line, if he


misses the brown, this is sensational. What a shot that was.


The best safety shot of The best safety shot of the


tournament so far. Wow, look at this for a shot -


unbelievable! Wow. 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. This, here, was


tremendous, really was. STUDIO: What is your winner? Vote


now: Also speaking of voting, earlier on


on the BBC Sport website, we asked you to pick your favourite Crucible


moment in the last 40 years. A whopping 55% picked the 1985 final


between Denis and Steve. Funny, they never pick your sixth world title,


never. Second, it was followed by Ronnie O'Sullivan's fastest 147 and


Alex Higgins' triumph in 1982. Just condole the boy, shall we. Shot E,


we were talking about this a lot over the last week or so. It was


Shaun Murphy's incredible trick shot when he was up against Ronnie


O'Sullivan. That's had many of you trying to recreate it. We asked you


to do this last weekend. Some ffgs entries. This is a cracker. I like


the celebration. We're not sure how many attempts each had actually. One


is very impressive. Roll up, roll up, Ken Doherty, it's your big


moment. Fantastic shot. And John Higgins


saying you have to play this shot. I am going to try and play it. He's


laughing his head over there. He can't wait. He plays it with


right-hand side. It hits the cushion here. It takes effect off the


cushion here, comes back at almost a 25 degree angle and hits and pots


the red. I've had about 20 goes in practice. A few have gone in. A few


missed. This is the practice room. It's not the heat of the battle. Ten


to one John Higgins says. Well, you see what I mean. It is the


practice room. I knew we should have recorded this instead of doing it




We did ask him to do it live. By the time he gets that in he'll look a


Robin Carusoe. As you can see from the practice room in world sport,


where you have the players, broadcasters, organisers living and


working in tight proximity. It's an amazing atmosphere here at The


Crucible Theatre. It just makes you want to keep coming back for more,


behind-the-scenes and front of house.


I'm Rob Walker, snooker MC. It is so important that your contribution to


the drama is at the start of the evening and at the appropriate


moment. It's just the best place in the world to come and be a part of


live snooker. There is no venue like it anywhere in the world, because


the place, the people and the players deserve everybody to walk


through those doors thinking, right, I'm going to do my little bit to be


a part of another great year of snooker. A world class weekend of


live sport starts right here, right now in Sheffield.


CHEERING The world snooker tournament


director. The atmosphere is still there, the fundamentals are still


there. The people are so close to the players. The people sat next to


the player's seat can virtually touch them. Cameraman, Duncan


Richmond. The word unique is overused. Sheffield, The Crucible,


is unique. There isn't enough space to work in. Then it becomes one of


the most spacious venues to work in. I'm Eugene James, table fitter. It


is magic. It's great. When you've been to all the other venues all


over the world, this one definitely special. When we service the stables


during the tournament, people are right behind you. It's scary


sometimes. Snooker referee. I've walked out there five times as the


snooker referee, to walk out there through that curtain is an


unbelievable. It's the pinnacle of your career. You know, you can feel


the atmosphere, the tension, when the MC does the walk ones for the


players, it's incredible. I get a lot of stick sometimes on social


media for being cheesy, but being cheesy is part of the role, because


you're there to pump people up. The Wizard of Wishall, John Higgins. You


have to give it a bit of welly because you want the audience to


give that back, not to you, but to the players when they walk out. If


it's fun for me coming back, in my little role as MC, imagine what that


must feel like for the players, first time, tenth time, 23 rd time,


must be amazing. You cannot get closer to the crowd. There's no


other sport where we work closer with the officials and the players.


One wrong move from you and you can put a player off. Rule number one -


we're at the back. The players know us, the players trust us. I've


always understood that as a rove ree you're a service to the player. You


have to have the discipline to always be in the right spot, never


to be in the eye line, never move as a player is down on the shot and


obviously under extreme pressure make the right decisions. All these


people constantly walking around, always makes the table move. They're


not allowed to touch the table. We're sat there like bull dogs to


make sure they go nowhere near trchlt You never get border of


seeing that final day and winning it. Not just because you want to go


home, it's because of the excitement and the buzz it gives those players


as well. The adrenaline pumps. The more exciting it gets, the more


difficult it gets, I find the breathing slows down, the heart rate


slows down because you're thinking quicker and quicker and quicker.


It's incredibly exciting. 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's just the satisfaction that you've seen a


great game, that's the satisfaction I get really from it.


It's just been so, so special to be part of such a great event. It's


very humbling. You're watching people live out their dreams under


the most intense, immense pressure. So, it means everything that I've


had a chance to be part of it. We should all be proud year on year,


because the figures are getting better, the sport is getting bigger.


This is going out to 70 countries around the world. It's a team effort


and we should all be proud. I'm very proud, especially to be


chosen for the 40th anniversary of the Crucible. I'm not the youngest


any more now, so yeah, if I'm true to myself, I probably think this


will be the last one. I'm going to be over the moon and


I'm going to be really proud and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.


It's one big happy family. Though I'm looking forward to going home.


No, I'm joking. It is an incredible event because you do have to work so


close to everybody and as I said in the introduction, I can't think of


any other events where we are all so closely knitted together here.


That's right. In recent years, it must be said, a happier family, when


the game was being run by the players, there was all sorts of


political in-fighting. Now it's far better set up. Enjoyable to come


here. Is this Championship getting bigger and better ever year? I think


so. To be honest with you, this is where the want to be. This is what


you want to be, in a final like this. John Higgins six frame lead


over Mark Selby has been cut to just the one frame. Time for a change in


the commentary box now. Seven times world champion Stephen Hendry made


his debut against Willie thorn. Thank you Hazel. The only thing you


didn't tell them was the result. I'll remind them, I won!


This was real connoisseur snooker the first four frames.


One for the purists. I don't think you got involved in frames this long


in your career, did you? Probably because my safety wasn't


good enough! Yesterday, we didn't have a friend that was longer than


half an hour. Today, I think the pressure has been cranked up, the


final day. The average frame time has crept up


over 21 minutes. 28 seconds is quite long. What mattered when you think


of the likes of O'Sullivan and Trump, taking 15 seconds per shot.


That is an error. Very unlike Mark Selby. I don't think the frames will


get any quicker from here on in. The pressure's just going to get higher


and higher. Under normal circumstances, John Higgins would


play for the black here. I don't know if he will do that or play for


the blue. He is playing for the black. If he didn't practice, he is


straight into the bunch of this black. He will probably still play


some sort of cannon, but not with the same pace he would use if it


didn't mean as much. In fact, he didn't even play the cannon. Not the


best position all shot he has played. That was a bit tentative, a


bit negative. I think he missed the cannon. I


don't think there will be anything negative about this shot. Would you


not think about playing the drift to Mr pink? The two reds, would you go


into them? -- drift to miss the paint. It went up to the far left


corner. He has won in the right corner. Except the cue ball has gone


into the reds. If that red had bounced off the cushion an inch, it


would have been perfect. At first glance, that looks like a


terrible shot, but he has played to kiss. Let's see if we can notice it.


I presume he is playing half ball on the one just above it. Yes, the red


and white jump, so it took all the spin out of the cue ball. He has put


himself in trouble now. It didn't look so bad in our


picture. I don't know whether he hit it badly. He didn't get great


contact on the first red that the cue ball struck. He did that well.


APPLAUSE It is amazing what the pressure does


to chances like that. You would almost get your house on John


Higgins winning it in one sitting from that situation. Everything is


difficult from here on in. A test for these two players.


To get the White in behind the green, he will have to play a stun.


He may play the cannon on the blue, twice across. May be the red is


further away from the left corner, but it might have been worth playing


a double there. Maybe the red is just a bit further away from the


corner pocket. It is normally a shot that Mark Selby would spot


straightaway. This will be a thin one.


It is amazing how every frame this afternoon there has been this kind


of pattern. The black has gone safe very early on in each frame. Neither


player has yet won a frame in one visit. And the safety play has all


been very negative as well. There have not been many aggressive safety


shots, they are all about containing the situation. Both players scared


to give any chances. John Higgins can play a safety shop.


Whenever you get your hand on the table, you should find the baulk


cushion. A good shot there from John Higgins,


covering the right-hand side of the table.


Because the players have to have time to get ready for the final


session, they won't start a frame after 5:15pm. There is every chance


this could be pulled off with at least two frames despair. There


could be on the two frames left in this session now, getting ready for


the 7pm session. There may only be this one.


If John feels he can get through just to the edge of this red, he


doesn't want to be kissing the brown. He is able to flick it round


the side. He has kissed the blue. The important thing was to miss all


the baulk colours. Nothing easy available.


Maybe this frame, maybe two more, this one is certainly very important


for Mark Selby. He would love to get level.


You thought there would be a couple of 40 minute frames in this match


with these two great safety plans go about looking at the whole


tournament, Mark Selby playing so well early on, should he have played


more openly? Yeah, I think, I don't know. He seems to change his game


sometimes when he plays the top players that he knows can hurt him.


Against Ding, a lot of his safety was thin clips. He doesn't want to


put things in the open. The way the session went yesterday, he got 10-4


behind. The second four frames of yesterday afternoon, John Higgins


had something like a 90% pot rate. I think he does decide just to tighten


things up. That's not so good. That is a


mistake. You see his head drop there. There are reds available into


the middle pocket, which would put him on the green.


CROWD GROANS You see how much more difficult


those opportunities are when the pink and black are not available. It


does not whet your appetite coming to the table, when you know it is


going to be hard to score. You are not as enthusiastic going for a pot.


The result he has had there, yes, he can smile. John Higgins is in real


trouble. I think he might have to take on the


pot. There are three reds in a line next to the black. I think he will


have to take this on. It looks a big pocket for that red, closest to the


left corner. If he takes this on... May be the red is just a little too


far-away from the pocket. You see... Thought he might just get


a clip of that red. Again, Mark Selby comes to the table with a


chance, but it is not easy to score. Amazing the number of times a player


plays a bad shot and all of a sudden it gives him an opportunity on his


next visit. Mark Selby missed that red in the middle by quite a long


way. Somehow, he will have to get onto the two reds around the black


spot area, with the chance eventually to bring the pink into


play. This frame is very tough at the minute. If anyone has the cue


power to play the shot, Mark Selby has it in spades. Pop the yellow,


direct screw into the pink. He may think it is too risky. If he wants


develop this to a frame-winning chance, I think he can go for it


here. Here it comes. Great shot. Great


shot! That really was a super shot. Stephen Colbert, and he did not play


it as hard as we thought he might, but he has cleared the pink spot.


Can he get nicely on the pink? If he does, this is a great chance. There


are six reds in the middle of the table. As much as the last shot was


good, that was bad. If you are overhit this by a long way, you go


up the table and you have got four colours are there. He will be very


disappointed with that. He is looking at the black. This would be


handy, get it back on its spot. APPLAUSE


A very friendly kiss. We just talked about when you sometimes play a bad


shot, it can get you in the next time. But that had shot to try to


get onto the pink has turned out to be fantastic now. It is now a


frame-winner. OK, he is seven points behind, but you would expect him to


pot these seven reds and five colours. When Mark Selby potted the


first red, within three or four shot, he has got the pink and black


interplay. -- into play. Mark Selby knows he can't win the


frame without getting one of the three reds on the left-hand side.


We didn't see this coming when he was 10-4 behind. The last three


frames yesterday evening were just superb Selby. Since then, he has


ground his way back into the match. Now the real work starts. He may be


trying to leave an angle on the pink to remove the red mac that is tight


on the cushion on its own. -- the red that is tied on the cushion on


its own. If he brings that red interplay, he won't be giving it


here, after the colour. Would you be playing to move this red? Or would


you get a colour to move the red after the next shot? I think the


fact that you only need the red, of the colour... Finish high on the


black here. To the right corner. So he can stun off the cushion, a


little bit of side, the two reds that are close together, the one


closest to the cushion, try to flick thataway. There is the half bald


black Stephen was talking about. He will be playing that shot that


Stephen called, going into the red that is just off the cushion. Very


good. Unlucky. OK, he might have to take this pot down the cushion, just


because it is frame ball. The fact the red is touching the cushion


makes it that much more possible to get. You have to think, even if you


miss it, the position of the red means it will be some clearance for


John Higgins to pinch it in one visit. He will play with lots of


left-hand side to try to cover the pocket with the black, just in case


it stays in the jaws. Keep an eye on the white ball. Loads of side. Mind,


he is stretching a bit. He has gone all out for the pot.


Very good. But you know that John Higgins is going to come back to the


table unless Mark Knox this black in. -- Mark knocks this black in. A


break of 67. 48 points in it, 43 on, two snookers required. That really


was a class visit to the table. Never looked like a frame- winning


opportunity. He will be taking this on. This, a


chance to level. He led 1-0 and 2-1. Since then, he has been playing


catch up all the way through this final. But he is not playing catch


up any more. All square. John Higgins conceded. Mark Selby


draws level for the first time for a long time. It is 11-11. Hazel


Irvine: It is, from 10-4 down, he has won seven of the last eight. It


is 11-11 and we have a final on here. You were crooning about that


break. What did you particularly admire about it, John? When we


started, it looked like there was nothing on. John Higgins vote, go


on, there is not much on that. But he played a brilliant cannon. You


have to hit it perfectly. The pace he played it with, it moved the reds


away from the pink, got things into position. He had sussed out that the


Blackwood pot. We don't know whether he played on pink and didn't get up,


he knew the black was there, but clever shots. You would say the


momentum is with Mark Selby. It does. Halfway through, it looked


like the match had got bogged down. That break could be the thing that


kick-start this game into life again. It was tough, turgid stuff,


tactical play was important, but now Mark Selby perhaps has his arm


gathering. Perhaps John Higgins will have to respond. They can get bogged


down in safety exchanges for half an hour, but when the chance, -- when


the chance comes, he is ready. COMMENTATOR: He has got a lot to


think about, John Higgins. Just have a little look at this.


Mark Selby, talking to himself, saying, believe, believe, I think.


This is possibly going to be the last game of the afternoon session,


and that is definitely of benefit to John Higgins at the minute. Yeah,


very much so. It is interesting watching Mark Selby eyeing up his


opponent as well, when he was saying, believe.


APPLAUSE Magnificent. He is finding a gear,


Mark Selby. You are right, Willie, it is a good


job this might be the last frame for John Higgins' sake. Mark Selby will


be disappointed. He would like to keep going, should he win the frame


at this visit. If he does win in one visit, there will certainly be time


for another frame. He has got a nice angle on the


black. He can almost stun this off the cushion on the left-hand side,


into the bunch. CROWD GROANS


Just a little bit too much top spin there. The cue ball went out to the


left. There you see, lots of top spin on


the cue ball. This frame might not last much longer. When you play the


shot into the pack, you will never get any movement out of the pack


that way. He is 24 points in front. John Higgins has lost a bit of


concentration at the moment. As Stephen and I have just discussed,


he would be delighted to walk out now, because he knows that whatever


happens, he can only be one frame behind going into tonight's session,


and he needs to rethink and regroup. I'm a little surprised that that


aggressive safety shot. He hasn't played one of those thick ones into


the pack for quite some time. As I said, he was playing them in the


first rounds, when he knew that he wasn't going to get punished boss


that he was so confident of winning. But maybe that is what he thinks.


Maybe he thinks that John is in a state where he will not punish


mistakes. Dangerous to underestimate John Higgins at any stage.


This sort of situation, when you are playing safety, bringing the cue


ball back to the black cushion, so important to keep the cue all tight.


The first mistake, or the first chance, it is normally a good one.


Look at the way the reds R. I don't think either player will be aware


that this is going to be their last frame.


Can John Higgins get back into this frame and still be one in front


ahead of the evening session? He needs to find the cushion. He has


done. I think he can see the red that is nearest the left-hand middle


docket. He is looking at the potting angle. He could well get on the


black from this. CROWD GROANS


He had to go for that. The way the reds are you would


expect Mark Selby to win this frame. Mark Selby must be buzzing inside.


He's clawed his way back into this match and could well take the lead.


Just about keeping his focus Mark Selby.


Now is not the time for a careless shot.


A couple of pots away from taking that lead.


John Higgins' supporters will be hoping this is the last frame of the


session. There's every chance they could be playing one more. I can't


see John Higgins winning one with the frame of mind he's in.


He's getting stronger and stronger, Mark Selby.


Mark Selby is definitely going to lead.


Really has been phenomenal performance. At 10-4 down, he looked


all over the place. Since then a typical Mark Selby,


dominant performance. Mark Selby has taken the lead.


STUDIO: The last time that Mark Selby was ahead was 2-1, about 26


hours ago. It's been a long, long time. He seems to be all fired up


now. This is a fantastic performance from the world champion en route,


perhaps to a third world title. It's funny that John got left a real


smelly cut in the pocket. When you're under the cosh you hit these


shots thick. Exactly what he did. Especially a shot where you have no


control over your position. He didn't get. It he left a great


chance. It's just what you'd expect from Mark. Is this the psychology


for us now? John Higgins has been keeping him at arm's length, now the


initiative has gone to the defending champion. What can he do to regroup?


He has a different pressure now. At some stage it may be the case that


he actually consider himself not exact lit underdog but have no


worries about that. Looking over your shoulder is a horrible


situation on the snooker table. It really S it's a still board game.


You have all the time in the world to think. It may be that Mark Selby


gets in the same position, but you've got to say incredible


performance by Mark Selby. It's not the first time he's done this in the


world Championship finals. Perhaps the confidence he got from the first


time against Ronnie O'Sullivan is possibly why he's not panicked. I


think John's had the nod there to tell him there's one more frame in


this session. There will be, it's confirmed. He's given a nod to the


authorities to let them know he knows. I think fascinating with that


glimpse into the mind of Mark Selby, when we saw him mouthing "believe,


believe". Very seldom do you see someone articulate that. He would


have been looking to get out of this session, if he could win it 5-3


today, that would have been brilliant. He's well ahead of


schedule in this one COMMENTATOR: As Mark Selby breaks


off, every chance of being two clear going into tonight's session. John


Higgins somehow, after summing up all his experience, and win this


final frame. The green jacket winners, Masters


two years ago, Danny Willett. Just on his iPhone.


Mark Selby left the arena and I was looking at John Higgins' body


language. It wasn't good. A bit depressed, which you


understand the way it's gone the last few frames


I detect slight blood shot eyes in John Higgins there.


He's going to need a chance for these reds to part where it's almost


impossible not to make 50. I think the crowd would like John


Higgins to win the last frame. What a final session that would be at


12-12. We just noticed John Higgins' eye


blood shot. Did you have trouble sleeping when you were winning, it's


hard when you're playing. Fortunately, that was never a


problem for me. You're in a fortunate position if


you can sleep. It's amazing the psychology of snooker. Yesterday,


the body language is a complete turn around for both players. John


Higgins had the spring in his step round the table.


Now it's Mark that's prowling. People talk about how great the game


is and how many great players we have, but it seems when we come to


the Crucible, when we get to the quarter final stage, every player


was a top-eight player apart from Stephen Maguire.


The cream always comes to the top in this tournament.


Mark Selby has covered the right-hand side of the table. No


avenue back to baulk from there. He may play it thin with right-hand


side. Very dangerous. He's hit that


terrible. A horrible situation to be in. One


bad shot sheems to lead into the next one. You just want to play one


good shot. Must be a great feeling for Mark,


the fact he knows that whatever happens worst thing would be he will


be level. If someone had said that at 10-4, that he might go into the


last session ahead, he probably would have laughed at them.


Just wriggled in. Got the position. Does it red go?


Can you see from that picture, that red doesn't go. But there is one to


the left of the black that pots. In the end, fortunate to have that


natural angle on that red, go for the pink.


Another thing for John Higgins in his chair now, he's witnessed two


breaks of 67 and 58 in the two previous frames. He must be thinking


this frame could well be over in a minute.


Good shot, really was. He plays the screw shot better than any player


out there at the moment. John Higgins will be resigned to the


fact that he's going 13-11 down, the way this match is going.


He'll be thinking, "What's gone wrong?


This is reminisce tonight one of your games, when you were playing


Jimmy White, 14-8 behind and won ten frames on the trot. This is a


similar pattern to this match. With Mark Selby, he will be more


confident now than at any stage in the match.


You combet a sense of your opponent weakening and wilting under the


pressure. #


Again, maybe the adrenaline, he's overscrewed that as well.


The shot from red to pink, when the pink was on the brown shot, the


timing of that shot, he didn't hit it hard at all. He's absolutely


pumped up now. He's really feeling in the mood, feeling like he's


cueing lick a dimon. There's -- like a demon. There's every chance now he


will win this. Good position shot. Wonder what John


Higgins will do. I would suggest he has a shower and try to brush


himself down. He's still very much in this match.


It's not over by any stretch. I certainly would not be writing


John Higgins off yet. Perhaps it's good that the session is ending now,


though. You couldn't see a way back if the


match was ending in this session. Get away from the venue and spend


time with family. New scenery, just get out of this place.


The way he's played that shot tells me the red to the right of the black


pots. This is a very good performance,


having some dogged frames, Mark Selby's produced three breaks over


50 on the trot, as he did last eveningment


-- evening. He played some of his best snooker. These last three


frames in this session have been his best snooker again.


Tonight with John Higgins, he will need to attack more tonight. I think


so. If that could happen, the pressure would turn. Easier said


than done. You can only play the balls on the table.


Maybe more aggressive safeties, maybe.


That was a key when he got his lead. He was playing a lot quicker pace,


opening the balls early, feeling great. It's hard to do when you're


not feeling good. The fact that they're finishing a


frame early in this session has helped him.


This is frame ball. Very well played Mark Selby.


You wouldn't have thought there would be a possible Severnery when


he came -- century when he came to the table again.


Oh, he's missed that. But I'm sure John Higgins (inaudible) fantastic


safety play in the last few frames, great breaks, he goes into the lead


now by 13-11. STUDIO: From four frames to ten


behind to two in front. He's won nine of the last ten. And Mark Selby


closing in on a third world title in four years. If he pulls this off


tonight, he will be the most dominant winning period at The


Crucible since a certain Stephen Hendry and indeed Steven Davis.


Ronnie won his five titles over a 13-year spread. But this man is


certainly closing in in terms of Crucible history here. How will John


Higgins rationalise and explain to himself what's gone on today and


indeed last night? One or two shots he missed last night Chancellor ght


changed it slightly. You give credit to Mark Selby for that. Today he's


just been outplayed. That takes a massive effort from a massive player


to do that. Higgins is just brilliant at match play. He's been


outplayed today. The best thing about that session is it's just


finished. The way it was going and the way he was playing, and how Mark


was fluent amongst the balls, there was only going to be one result.


Finishing there two frames behind, get out the venue and come back


tonight. How much life is left in this final for you, Steve? I don't


know. John Higgins has had his head scrambled here today. By one of the


greatest predators the game's ever seen. He hasn't got much time to try


and exorcise the memories of this afternoon before he's under the


grill again. If Mark Selby continues and starts off the session, which is


always a big if, because things can change, if he starts off the way


he's finished off this session, John's going to be back in that seat


wondering what on earth went wrong when he was 10-4 up. Can you


describe for those of us who will never know what it's like when


you're out there, how your brain can become scrambled to such a huge


extent? It's awful. He just wants to get one good short. He couldn't get


that towards the end. He was struggling to play a safety shot.


Desperation kicks in. All you see are problems. When your opponent


keeps putting you in the trouble and knocks in the balls after, it's


tough not to panic. How do you get out of it? Well, the best thing is


that session is finished and come back and you know, as Willie said,


have a shower, come back tonight. They were talking about play a few


safety shots a bit thick, but you're playing against someone who knocks


in long balls. Hard to play against. If anybody's got the resilience and


doggedness in his game, a great champion like John Higgins has. It


seems like the writing is on the wall. It sure does at the moment,


unless the Wizard of wish all gets the wand out. This final is a


fitting finale to this 40th anniversary Championship at The


Crucible. Good evening, welcome it a very,


very special night here at The Crucible. Thanks whoever thought


this up. This is great. LAUGHTER


You know what to do. 17 days of this, it's fun. It's a


fantastic tournament. It doesn't matter whether you've been here one


time or ten times, you still get goose bumps. We're back. The


Crucible Theatre. And the world number one defending champion, Mark


Selby, he's into the second round. What a shot! Stop it! Obviously in a


bit of discomfort out there. What a magnificent victory for McLeod.


Brilliant. He has pulled off one of the best comebacks for quite some


years here at The Crucible Theatre from 7-1 down. This is what they've


come to see. Look at that. That's what it means to him. I won't get


involved in it nowhere. I'm not being bullied. I just want to enjoy


my life. I'm not putting up with someone who thinks they can threaten


and bully me. It ain't happening. It always seems to be Ronnie. I like to


do my talking on the table. He is an animal. Could have handed the


initiative to Ronnie now. A solid performance from the five times


world Championship. -- champion. Come on! Don't normally see that


from Neil Robertson. Just come off the rails. I like his shoes. I


really do. What a performance and he beats the former world champion in


the end. There's some pressure out there at the moment, it really is. A


tremendous match between these two great Chinese players. He's potted


this, has he? Oh! I think he just caught his leg. Oh, the pin's gone.


I was going to say, if that pin breaks we're all in trouble. A big


shot from Rory Mc... I nearly called him Rory McIlroy. Almost flawless


snooker from the current world champion and he's going to be so


hard to beat. John Higgins is through to his eighth world


Championship semifinal. Barry hawkins, delighted to get into his


fourth semifinal in five years. He's made the highest break of this


year's world Championship, a magnificent 146. Absolutely


fantastic from this Chinese sensation. I've got 146, 147, can't


even make a 146 these days and get slated for it. What do you want me


to do? It's been a fabulous semifinal. Mark Selby gets into his


third final in four years. John Higgins wins comfortably. What a


final we've got to look forward. To -- forward to.


It's England against Scotland in this final, but I think this


Championship has shown us that the Chinese are coming here, big style.


Plenty of them. Six in the top half, all in the top half of the draw. It


was unfortunate they played each other. Then played a couple of his


fellow compatriots there. A great match that went to the final frame


decider. There's a revolution going on there. It's a matter of time


before there's more players come. Wei is a star here. I know many


people would love to have seen him in this final. No guarantee he will


be the first Asian player to lift the world crown. It's not that easy


to pro dict. It isn't. We're not making predictions about this


evening either. From your point of view, how much mileage is left in


this final? I think there's a chance it's going to p ha. You feel a bit


for John Higgins. Mark Selby looks like he's in the groove. John has to


kickstart the engines, not sure how he does it. As we saw from out


there, Mark Selby certainly believes. He's been mouthing that. I


wonder how much John Higgins still believes that a fifth world title is


possible and indeed how much John Higgins has got left. We will find


out the answers to those questions when we return at 7pm. Just 90


minutes, it's not over yet, see you soon, bye for now.


I've got some good news. Did you hear?


Download Subtitles