World Snooker: Selby beats Hendry to reach last eight

WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Venue: Crucible Theatre
  • Date: 16 April-2 May

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC One HD, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); updates and reports on Radio 5 live; catch up with BBC iPlayer

Selby seals Hendry exit

Mark Selby needed a single frame from the final session to reach the last eight, leaving former world number one Stephen Hendry mulling retirement.

England's Selby made 81 on his way to completing a comfortable 13-4 victory.

He will now face Ding Junhui after the Chinese player fought back from 12-9 down to beat Stuart Bingham 13-12.

World number one John Higgins defeated Rory McLeod 13-7 to set up a clash with former champion Ronnie O'Sullivan - who beat Shaun Murphy 13-10.

Three-time champion Higgins took a 10-5 lead into the final session, and rattled in an 80-break on his way to winning the first two frames.

The Scot, who won the UK Championship and Welsh Open this season, was on the brink of sealing a quarter-final - but back came McLeod to pull the score to 12-7 going into the mid-session interval.

The qualifier looked set to take the first frame following the break after establishing a 40-point lead, but played a poor safety to allow his opponent back in.

Higgins, who generally performed below par, wasted his first opportunity but took the next to clinch the frame and the match.

I am definitely going to have to improve and be on top of my game for my next match

John Higgins

And Higgins admitted he has yet to hit his best form in the tournament after patchy performances against Stephen Lee and McLeod at the Crucible.

"It was hard work," he said of a match in which the average frame-time was about 25 minutes. "It wasn't my fault or Rory's, it is just the way the balls go sometimes that dictate the performance. It was like Groundhog Day every frame."

"I am going to have to come back and practise because there was a lot of time between shots. My timing went completely in the middle part of the match.

"I hit the ball well in the second session of my match with Lee but apart from that I have been a little bit edgy. I am definitely going to have to improve and be on top of my game for my next match, whoever I am playing."

On Monday, Selby became the first player to record six centuries in a 25-frame match - and took his tally for the season to 54, beating the record held by Hendry.

The world number three, who has been installed as the new favourite, had already compiled three centuries in establishing a 7-1 lead before clearing with a break of 100 in the opening frame of the second session.

A stylish 127 followed in frame 11 and although Hendry ensured the match would go to a final session, with successive runs of 75 and 74, Selby claimed his record with a 117 before winning the final frame of the eight, on the black.

"I played well from start to finish and put pressure on Stephen from the word go," said Selby. " I just went out to win the match, but the performance was exceptional as well, which is always nice."

World Snooker 2011: Stephen Hendry contemplates future

After the match, seven-time champion Hendry, 42, confirmed that he is contemplating retirement from the game in the next few weeks.

Ding's dramatic comeback to sink England's hugely-deflated Bingham provided a thrilling spectacle for the Crucible crowd.

In his adopted city, Ding - has won the UK Championship and Masters events in his career - reached the world championship quarter-finals for the first time.

Bingham looked home and dry, but Ding build superb break of 92 to move to within two frames before nervelessly making it 11-12 with real poise and control.

Bingham also had chances to seal the in thrilling final two frames, but Ding showed too much class when the pressure was on to book a last eight match with Selby.

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