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Selby sparks amazing comeback to beat Robertson

ESPN staff
December 7, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Mark Selby was four frames down © PA Photos
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World No. 2 Mark Selby produced a memorable comeback to reach the UK Championship semi-finals at the expense of Neil Robertson on Thursday.

In a meeting of two players who have never reached the final of the competition, Robertson stormed to a 4-0 lead before allowing his rival back to 4-4. The Australian then continued to crumble as Selby eventually won 6-4 to advance to the last-four.

Robertson took the opening frame with a run of 65, and then snatched the second on the pink. A battle for snookers ensued in the third, again won by Robertson, before he went into the mid-session interval off the back of a 105 break for 4-0.

Selby finally registered in the fifth frame, and employed more stubborn tactics in the sixth to get back to 4-2, his highest break at that stage of the match 58. Selby is a phenomenal match player and he continued to show his ability to fight, levelling up at 4-4 as Robertson began to commit errors.

He took the lead for the first time in the match by claiming the ninth, and by now everything was coming off for Selby in a complete change of fortunes. He banged his fist against the table as he clinched the decisive tenth, even rattling in a double en route to a closing 101.

Selby will now face Mark Davis in the semi-finals after Davis won a tight match against Matthew Stevens 6-4. The Englishman had to weather an early storm before taking control in a gripping match of high quality snooker.

Stevens amassed an 84 followed by a century as he moved into a 2-1 lead, but runs of 80 and 98 saw Davis go 3-2 and then 4-3 ahead. Stevens levelled, but a 70 took Davis within a frame of victory and he duly closed it out in the next.

In the afternoon session, Ali Carter booked his place in the last-four with a tight 6-4 victory over Stuart Bingham. A run of 74 saw Bingham start strongly, but Carter answered immediately with a break of 134 and he eventually sealed his progression with a brilliant long red in the 10th frame.

Carter, who has not been past the semi-finals, said: "I don't feel like I've played particularly great yet but I'm in the semis and I'd take that. I'll definitely need to play better. I'm going to have to find some form to go on and win the tournament."

He will now face Shaun Murphy, who edged out 17-year-old Belgian Luca Brecel 6-5. Both players wasted fine chances to win the match, with Brecel missing pinks in the 10th and 11th frames, but a superb red in the deciding stanza finally saw 2008 champion Murphy into the semis.

A relieved Murphy said: "I thought I'd lost the match a couple of times, I really did think I was out. I think the adrenaline and maybe a little bit of inexperience cost him in the end. He overhit and underhit a couple of shots and I'm just relieved."

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