Antrim’s Mark Allen enjoyed a fine victory over world number one Mark Selby, winning a final frame decider to record a 6-5 win and move into the semi-finals of the Dafabet Champion of Champions on Friday evening where he will face Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Having won the Players Championship on ITV4 earlier in the year, the match was Allen’s seventh consecutive match undefeated on the popular sports channel and it was a high quality game with 11 breaks over 50.
The first four frames were shared then Allen won a tight fifth frame, then recorded a run of 80 in the next to move into a 4-2 lead.
They shared the next two to leave the Northern Irishman just one from victory. Selby though fought hard as he always does and a break of 52 won the next before a run of 63 stole the penultimate frame and forced the decider.
Selby looked favourite when he led 43-0, but Allen got to the table and compiled a superb match-winning break of 63.
Earlier in the first round matches, Selby had enjoyed a quick win in his opener as he defeated recent English Open winner Liang Wenbo 4-0 in an hour and ten minutes. The highlight was a century in the fourth frame to seal the match.
Allen made it through to the evening play-off match by defeating Joe Perry in the second game of the afternoon session.
Allen said: “I missed a couple of chances to win 6-4 and I thought I was going to lose after that. When I got that chance at the end the pressure was almost off a bit because I had fully expected Mark to win the decider in one visit. I managed to make a good break. I am sure Mark is a bit disappointed with the way he played but I think both of our games are in good shape.
“There are two big matches ahead of me, they will be very tough no matter who I play. It is Ronnie next – I played really well against him in Romania and just came out on the wrong side of a tight match but if I can play the way I have been then I have a good chance.”
Play continues on Thursday at 1.00pm with Shaun Murphy v John Higgins followed by Judd Trump v Anthony McGill, the two winners to meet in the evening.