Perthshire’s Donaldson enjoyed the best win of his career so far as he reeled of a trio of big breaks to win the last three frames against world number one Selby.
Donaldson, age 23, reached the semi-finals of the Welsh Open last season but then had a terrible start to the 2017/18 campaign, losing ten matches in a row. He ended that barren spell by beating John Astley 6-2 in the first round at the York Barbican and today’s win over Selby sets up a last 32 clash with China’s Li Hang.
Selby looked comfortable in the early stages as he went 2-0 up with a top break of 68, but Donaldson hit back to win three frames in a row with top runs of 88 and 51. World Champion Selby won the sixth for 3-3, but he didn’t score a point in the last three frames as Donaldson fired breaks of 90, 77 and 84 to win in style.
“In terms of the difficulty of my opponent it’s my best win,” said Donaldson, who turned pro in 2012. “I’m quite calm, it’s just another win for me and I’ll be preparing for my next match now.
“It has been well documented that I’d not won a game this season but I actually had a lot of cue problems. I have to say thanks to Raymond Cohen from Exquisite Cues because he has done a brilliant job with it, and I’ll stop messing about with it now. I feel I’m back to where I was last year.
“I got good chances in the balls today and I capitalised on it. It doesn’t always happen like that, on another day I wouldn’t have had a look in. I took my chances and that’s what you need to do in any game regardless of who you are playing.”
Selby won the UK title in 2012 and 2016
Selby said: “Everyone seems to be playing at that standard against me at the moment. I rate Scott as a player, he’s got a good all round game, he scores well as you’ve just seen today. It didn’t surprise me him playing like that because I’ve played him before four or five times and he’s performed like that every time. He closed the match out really well
“If I had kept missing and not taken my chances then it would have hurt a lot more. I’ve got no excuses.”
Robertson has reached just one ranking event quarter final so far this season
Neil Robertson made three consecutive centuries for the second match in a row as he beat Ken Doherty 6-2. Australia’s Robertson trailed 2-1 but then took five straight frames with high scores of 102, 124, 129.
“I have been practising for the last two months and I feel as though something has really clicked now,” said Robertson, the 2013 and 2015 champion. “I’m 100% focused on snooker now and that’s showing so far in my performances this week.
“I had a chance to make four centuries in a row but didn’t land on a red when I went into the pack. I was looking at doubles, I was looking at plants, I was looking at everything but it would have been taking the mick a bit if I went for something silly.”
Robertson is still in 17th place in the race to the Masters because 16th-placed Ryan Day beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-3 with a top run of 81.
Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Williams extended his winning streak to nine consecutive matches with a 6-2 win over Andrew Higginson. Williams indicated that he will continue to play in the tournament as it stands, despite his wife Joanne suffering an illness which has required hospital treatment.
Mark Allen came from 3-2 down to beat Oliver Lines 6-4 with top breaks of 101 and 127. That ended Lines’ hopes of playing his dad Peter in the next round.
Chinese teenager Lyu Haotian made a 106 in a 6-3 win over Peter Ebdon.