• China Open

Impressive Selby powers past Walden

ESPN staff
March 28, 2013 « Haye targets title after confirming June return | Chartbeat test »
Mark Selby has been impressive in Beijing © Getty Images
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Mark Selby's bid to regain the world No. 1 spot remains on course following a 5-2 win over Ricky Walden at the China Open.

With Judd Trump crashing out early, Selby can move back to the top of the rankings and he has looked good so far this week.

After hitting three centuries in his win over Mark King, he carried the form into his match with Walden.

Walden did not go down without a fight and pushed Selby hard. The sixth frame proved pivotal, as Walden missed a tricky blue when 50 points ahead. Selby stepped in to clear to the blue and got the better of a tense safety battle on the pink to move 4-2 ahead.

Walden was in first in the seventh, but he missed a decent chance and skulked back to his chair in frustration. Selby needed no second invitation as he put together a half century to move into the last eight.

Mark Williams' return to form continued as he won the final three frames to beat Ali Carter 5-4 to set up a clash with Selby.

It was a tense affair early on, but it looked like the match was swinging Carter's way when he won a sixth frame that had to be re-racked.

From that moment, Carter spent an awful lot of time sat in his chair as a 136 from Williams cut the gap to 4-3 and he stepped up in the following frame with an 81 to force a decider.

Carter had first crack in the decider, but he missed a relatively straightforward red and Williams compiled a 79 which was enough to take him over the line. A crumb of comfort for Carter is that he is sure of a return to the Crucible for the World Championship without having to qualify.

Jack Lisowski, who beat Trump earlier in the week, showed he has steel as well as silk as he held his nerve to beat Mark Davis 5-4, while Shaun Murphy was a 5-3 winner over Rory McLeod.

Stephen Maguire eased to a 5-1 win over Barry Hawkins, which set up a meeting with Stuart Bingham who knocked in breaks of 134, 91 and 84 in his 5-3 win over Robert Milkins.

Neil Robertson knocked in back-to-back tons in his 5-1 win over Mark Allen. The Australian will face Marcus Campbell next following his 5-4 win over Graeme Dott.

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