Whether it is World titles, 147s or their career head-to-head, on paper Ronnie O'Sullivan edges out Mark Selby in almost every way you could look at it.

 

By Nick Teale

 

But there is one significant record where O'Sullivan wouldn't beat Selby in a game of Top Trumps - their head-to-head record in finals.

 

On the six previous occasions these two have met at the climax of a tournament, they share three wins each. Most recent was at the Dafabet Masters in January, where O'Sullivan won 10-4 after storming into an 8-2 lead.

 

Two months earlier, however, it was Selby who collected the silverware when he triumphed 4-3 from 1-3 down in the Antwerp Open final.

 

This year's Dafabet Masters final was the third time the pair had played at that stage of the same tournament. In 2010 Selby came from 9-6 down to win 10-9, and in 2009 O'Sullivan was a 10-8 victor.

 

The Welsh Open of 2008 also went the distance, Selby taking the final frame there too. The Rocket made up for that with a 7-2 win in the Premier League final later that year.

 

In a career head-to-head, however, O'Sullivan has 13 wins to Selby's 7, with one draw in the group stage of that 2008 Premier League. The reigning World Champion has played almost three times as many matches at the Crucible than his rival in this year's final, and has won here 57 times to Selby's 17.

 

In fact, O'Sullivan has won almost as much money in Sheffield as Selby has in his career. Of course, that is distorted by the fact that the Rocket has played in 22 World Championships to Selby's 10, but as he searches for a third consecutive and sixth Crucible crown, O'Sullivan boasts a wealth of experience over his rival.

 

RONNIE O'SULLIVAN
Age: 39
World Championship titles: 5
Ranking event titles: 26
Career centuries: 745
Career 147s: 12
Crucible record
Appearances: 22
Matches played: 73
Matches won: 57
Centuries: 141
High break: 147 three times
Prize money: £2,307,200

 

MARK SELBY
Age: 30
World Championship titles: 0
Ranking event titles: 3
Career centuries: 336
Career 147s: 2
Crucible record
Appearances: 10
Matches played: 26
Matches won: 17
Centuries: 38
High break: 142
Prize money: £398,380


 

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
Wins
O'Sullivan 13-7 Selby
Frames won
O'Sullivan 118-88 Selby
Finals
O'Sullivan 3-3 Selby