Mark Selby has won the Betway UK Championship after keeping Ronnie O’Sullivan at bay in a gripping final.
Having trailed 7-2 at one point, O’Sullivan produced a vintage spell of break-building to get right back into the match.
But, having seen his lead reduced to 8-7, Selby won two frames in a row to prevail 10-7 and become just the sixth player in the sport’s history to secure the World Championship and UK titles in the same calendar year.
The 33-year-old from Leicester joins illustrious company in O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John
Parrott and John Higgins, proving he fully deserves his status as World No 1.
It was all Selby in the afternoon session at the York Barbican as he cruised into a 6-2 lead, and he added the first frame of the evening to set the stage for a convincing win.
But five-time UK champion O’Sullivan fought back and produced breaks of 56, 80, 134, 130 and 82 to roar back into the match at 7-8.
O’Sullivan’s two centuries in that streak came either side of a 137 from Selby, during a spellbinding sequence in which three frames in a row were won with total clearances.
And the tons did not end there as Selby proved his mettle yet again by rolling in a 134 to claim a 9-7 lead and move within a frame of the title.
And, after a scrappy start to the next, he got in among the balls again and secured the title with an assured run of 107.
Selby said: “It’s a fantastic feeling. To play Ronnie in any game means it’s always a great atmosphere and gives you a buzz and makes you want to play well.
“I had to be on top of my game today. Tonight he put me under pressure, asked the questions, and I was really pleased with how I held up at the end.
“To win the three majors is a great feeling but to do it twice is even better. If I never won another tournament I’d be happy with my achievements
O’Sullivan said: “It’s a fantastic night for him. I scored all right, but I missed too many easy balls.
“I think I did all right considering he’s world No 1 and so far ahead of everyone else.”