Mark Selby retains the World Snooker Championship

'The Jester from Leicester' defeated John Higgins 18-15

BY Daniel Kelly 07:41 Tuesday 2 May 2017, 7:41 2 May 2017

Picture by: Steven Paston/PA Wire/PA Images

Mark Selby won his third World Snooker Championship after an 18-15 win over John Higgins at The Crucible.

Selby has become the only the fourth player to retain the title, since the tournament moved to Sheffield in 1977. The win cements the 33-year-old as one of the all-time greats of the game.

Having started the second day of the final, trailing 10-7 to Higgins, Selby took hold of the final in Monday's afternoon session. The Leicester native won six of the session's seven frames to take a 13-11 lead.

At 12-11, Selby took the lead for the first time since a 2-1 lead early on Sunday's opening session. He is the first player since Dennis Taylor (1985) to win a World Final, from at least six frames down, having struggled on the opening day.

Speaking after the win over Higgins, Selby told BBC he was pinching himself over the win.

"From 10-4 to get to 10-7 yesterday, I was over the moon as I had nothing left. He outplayed me yesterday. Today I came back fresh and was a lot better."

"When I was 10-4 down I was missing everything and had nothing left. I said 'pull something together'. If you lose, you want to at least go down fighting."

"To have three world titles is unbelievable and to be one of only four players to defend it is something I could only dream of."

Selby's win continues his reign at the top of the World Rankings, where he has now spent more than two years. John Higgins moves up to second in the World Rankings, almost 20 years after his first World title.

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