Selby and Allen shake hands after the final
Mark Selby came from 3-0 down to beat Mark Allen 4-3 in the final of the Kaspersky lab Riga Open in Latvia on Sunday.
World Champion Selby won his first title of the season and lifted the trophy at the campaign’s opening European Tour event as a trademark fight-back saw him overturn his opponent at the Riga Arena.
Selby goes back to Leicester with a cheque for 25,000 Euros having shrugged off any early-season rustiness by winning seven matches, beating the likes of Peter Ebdon and Barry Hawkins.
In the final, Northern Ireland’s Allen took the first frame with a break of 74 and the second with a superb 56 clearance, before adding a scrappy third for 3-0. But Selby hit back with breaks of 65, 100 and 62 for 3-3. In the decider, Allen, who won two European Tour events last season, had first chance and made 33 before missing a tricky red with the rest. Selby stepped in with a cool 63 and sealed victory after Allen failed to get the snooker he needed on the colours.
“It has been a fantastic tournament all weekend and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Selby after snooker’s first ever professional event in Latvia, which was attended by thousands of enthusiastic fans. “It has been a great success. In Europe we always get good crowds and that’s what we play snooker for.
“In the second and third frames I played a couple of poor safety shots and went 3-0 down. After that I found my game. Mark still had a couple of chances but luckily he didn’t take them and I managed to take mine.”
The 2014/15 European Tour series comprises six events across the continent, with the top 24 in the final Order or Merit to go through to the Players Championship next March to battle for the £100,000 jackpot. The next event is the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany from August 21 to 24.