UK Snooker Championship 2013: Neil Robertson beats Mark Selby

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Robertson wins UK Championship title

Neil Robertson became only the eighth player in snooker history to win the Triple Crown with a 10-7 victory over Mark Selby at the UK Championship.

Robertson, 31, fought back from 5-1 down to add the title to his World Championship and Masters triumphs.

"To become the first overseas player to win all three is a fantastic feeling," the Australian told BBC Sport.

Selby, the 2012 UK Championship winner, missed the chance to overtake Robertson as world number one.

Robertson won the World Championship in 2010 and the Masters - the game's most prestigious invitational event - at Alexandra Palace last year, while his UK Championship victory is his ninth ranking title.

"Mark in the first session was too good for me today," he said.

"Tonight I came out 6-3 down and I just had to play good snooker to get back in. When I beat John Higgins in the Wuxi Classic, I said the way I played was the best, but today was definitely the best I have played in a final.

"When I came over to England, [China's world number three] Ding Junhui and I turned professional at the same time, and to get the Triple Crown ahead of him is a fantastic achievement."

Robertson and Selby, 30, had faced each other in the Masters final at the beginning of the year when Selby came out on top 10-6.

And the defending UK champion, who had made snooker's 100th maximum 147 break in the semi-final against Ricky Walden, started the match in stunning fashion, stroking in a sublime 130 clearance en route to a four-frame advantage.

But Robertson, who withstood a comeback from Stuart Bingham in the last four to reach the final, hit back with breaks of 54 and a superb 123 to stay in touch at 5-3 after the first session.

He then won three of the first four frames in the final session, including superb back-to-back centuries of 122 and 132 to restore parity at 6-6.

Selby opens UK final with 130 break

All the momentum was with the Melbourne man as he won his fifth frame in a row to make it 8-6, but Selby took the 15th with a run of 74, his highest break since the fifth frame.

Robertson was 48 ahead in the next, but Selby gnawed away at the deficit and needed only the final black to level the match when he missed a fairly routine top-cushion pot, an astonished Robertson tapping in to go one away from victory.

And he clinched the 17th with a knock of 57 to secure the £150,000 prize money and complete the Triple Crown.

Selby - who has now won only three ranking titles from his 10 final appearances - told BBC Sport: "I played sort of OK in the first session but tonight I was very poor.

"I didn't deserve to win. I had more than my fair share of chances [but] I didn't take them and Neil did.

"If I had potted the black to make it 8-8, I probably wouldn't have deserved it. I've been quite poor this week so to get to the final is a good achievement."