Mark Selby To Face Stuart Bingham In Betfred World Championship Semi-Final

The 37-year-old remains on course for a fourth title
21:19, 28 Apr 2021

Mark Selby is still looking good for a fourth world title – and will now face another former champion in Stuart Bingham in Thursday’s Betfred World Championship semi-finals. 

The three-time winner eased though against Mark Williams 13-3 with a session to spare at the Crucible Theatre to maintain his superb form so far in Sheffield. 

Making light of Williams’ unorthodox break-off shots, Leicester’s Selby said: “I played really well in this match, and overall as good as I was playing back in 2017 for the last of my world titles. 

“The way I have played so far you can wonder if you can keep it up all the way, but hopefully I can manage to do that. 

“You know that usually you have some bad sessions, but fortunately I have managed to keep up the momentum to get through to the semi-finals. 

“I went back to basics and gave every shot 100 per cent, and I am not giving opponents easy chances at the moment which is what I do when I am playing at a high standard. 

“Having the Wednesday evening off is a bonus, this tournament is mentally and physically tiring. Vicky and I have rented an apartment, so we can relax there this evening. 

“By the time Mark threw in a four-cushion break-off shot at the end of our match, maybe he was pretty resigned to his fate. 

“Stuart has seen it and done it all at the Crucible so of course is a very dangerous opponent, he is a great break-builder and scores very heavily.” 

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Selby will take on the 44-year-old Bingham, the 2015 winner, after he came through a Crucible classic 13-12 against Scotland’s Anthony McGill. 

Bingham, who had to come through qualifying this year, is still in the running to be only the third winner via that gruelling route after Terry Griffiths and Shaun Murphy. 

There was confusion earlier in the match about when exactly he had passed the 500 career centuries mark but that is all now resolved and a 503rd in the decider saw him home. 

An emotional Bingham, into a first semi-final since lifting the trophy six years ago and then a ban for betting on matches in 2017, said: “It looked like things were going wrong from 12-10 up.  

“I have had to watch these past few years on TV seeing others on that one-table set-up and it is wonderful to think I’ll be experiencing it again. 

“The century break in the decider was, without doubt, one of the most satisfying and best of my career. I held myself together really well. 

“When I was clearing up I was seeing double of everything and my eyes were welling up. Of course there have been times when I doubted that I would be back here on this stage. 

“But things can turn around and I have produced some of my best snooker of the season when it matters the most. 

“Anthony was a bit unlucky a couple of times, certainly going into the pack off the brown in the last frame and ending on nothing."

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For Scot McGill, 30, it was Crucible decider agony for the second year in a row. 

But McGill led 10-7 at one point yesterday and looked odds-on to win before collapsing and losing six of the last eight frames to Bingham - who had to qualify this year. 

The Glasgow Gladiator, who sensationally knocked out defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-12 earlier in the event, had been looking to at least get back to the last four. 

Last year he came within a whisker of reaching the final but cruelly lost a semi-final 17-16 to a fluked final green against Kyren Wilson. 

And this was as painful for the world No16 as the chance of a three-day clash with the in-form Selby slipped away as Bingham closed it out with a brilliant 125 in the decider. 

McGill said: “I had that fluked green go against me last year, and this year I go into the pack off the brown and finish on nothing in the decider. 

“I played almost a perfect frame today at the end, but sometimes the balls go against you. It happened last year and again this year, but they will go for me one day. 

“I have played some good snooker at this tournament, even if the season as a whole was poor.  

“I think I just have to capitalise on a lead, because Stuart played better than me today after I was 10-7 ahead.”

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