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O'Sullivan leads battling Selby by three frames

ESPN staff
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Ronnie O'Sullivan had led 8-3 on Sunday © Getty Images
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Mark Selby battled back from 8-3 down to trail Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-7 in the World Championship final going into Monday.

Having led 5-3 from the afternoon session at the Crucible, O'Sullivan took the first frame of the evening session to extend his lead, before a safety error from Selby on the green allowed him to take the tenth frame on the colours.

A break of 63 saw O'Sullivan go 8-3 up with a fourth frame in a row before Selby finally pulled one back before the interval.

Selby then closed the gap to 8-5 after O'Sullivan had potted the last red and cannoned the green which dropped in.

But O'Sullivan stepped it up a gear, racing through the 14th frame with a 131 total clearance for his 12th century of the tournament - four short of Stephen Hendry's 2002 record - before a quick break of 87 made it 10-5.

A vital break of 58 saw Selby pull the score back to 10-6 and he took the next frame to ensure he trailed by just three overnight.

It is the third consecutive year that O'Sullivan has led 10-7 after the first day of the final.

In the opening session, O'Sullivan struck first with a break of 69 putting him 1-0 up. He then doubled his lead, Selby needing a snooker on the last red but conceding after he failed to get behind the pink.

A break of 102 had O'Sullivan cruising further ahead before Selby stopped the rot in the fourth frame to head into the interval 3-1 down.

Selby continued his fightback by taking his second consecutive frame, clearing from yellow to pink after a good snooker.

But O'Sullivan regained his two-frame advantage with a break of 63 putting him 4-2 up.

A scrappy seventh frame went Selby's way with O'Sullivan then fluffing a simple red at 39-11 in the eighth frame to hand his opponent a chance to level the match.

Selby then looked like he would duly punish O'Sullivan after fluking the red and escaping from a snooker but a miss on the black allowed O'Sullivan to clear the colours and take the final frame of the session.

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