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Home favourite Mark Selby sees off Shaun Murphy at the British Open

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British Open Snooker 2021 – Day Three Preview and Order of Play

Selby got the better of Murphy again in Leicester (Imaginechina/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Mark Selby squeezed through to the second round of the British Open following a narrow 3-2 victory over Shaun Murphy at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Roared on by his home crowd, the World champion edged out his good friend in what was a repeat of the Crucible final on Tuesday.

Aiming to avenge that 18-15 defeat 106 days earlier, Murphy landed the first blow of the contest with a run of 48 proving enough.

Selby hit back with 78 before controlling frame three to complete the turnaround.

Although, the Magician – a semi-finalist during the last staging of this event in 2004 – ensured the tie went the distance; a crunching long blue in a tense fourth frame paving the way for him to level on the pink.

However, he squandered a golden opportunity for victory in the decider after missing a black to the middle, enabling the Jester to step in and clear to prevail.

“In a best of five, it’s just a matter of getting through; it doesn’t matter how you play,” he told WST.

“Every frame’s a deciding frame; you’re under pressure from the word: ‘go’.

“Playing here in my home city of Leicester, you feel as though you’re playing for them (the fans).

“If you lose you’ve let them down in the first round and they can’t come back and support you again, so I felt a little bit of pressure out there.

“Shaun never misses that black ever again. Fortunately for me, he missed it and I managed to take advantage.”

Stephen Hendry also came out on top in a nervy decider against Chris Wakelin.

Playing only his fourth match since coming out of retirement, the seven-time World champion knocked in some fantastic long reds as he controlled two of the opening three frames.

However, he missed a brown with the rest when in for victory in the next, allowing Wakelin to clear and level on the black.

Chances came and went for both players during a tense final frame, but Hendry eventually held his nerve by clearing to the pink from the last red to book his place in round two.

“I’m very pleased to win the match,” he told ITV Sport. “There was lots of good stuff in there. To get the win is great in front of the crowd.

“My scoring’s got to be better, but there’s enough there for me to be encouraged by moving forward.”

Earlier in the day, Kyren Wilson was among several high-profile casualties.

Despite breaks of 101 and 115, the world number six was unable to prevent a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Ashley Hugill.

Jack Lisowski also fell at the first hurdle in a deciding frame; the six-time ranking event finalist surrendering a 2-0 lead against veteran Barry Pinches.

World number 16 Anthony McGill was the other member of the game’s elite to bow out following a 3-1 defeat by Zhao Jianbo.

There were no such problems for Championship League winner David Gilbert, who built on his momentum with breaks of 56, 135 and 68 in a 3-0 victory over Matthew Stevens.

The same scoreline saw Stephen Maguire past Jackson Page, but Joe Perry and Ryan Day suffered 3-2 defeats against Ben Hancorn and Ross Muir respectively.

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British Open Snooker 2021 Results

Tuesday August 17

Round One

Lu Ning 3-1 Igor Figueiredo
Lee Walker 3-1 Sanderson Lam
Dominic Dale 3-0 Xiao Guodong
Wu Yize 3-0 Fraser Patrick

Anthony McGill 1-3 Zhao Jianbo
David Grace 3-2 Mark Lloyd
Andy Hicks 3-1 Chang Bingyu
Zhang Jiankang 3-1 Peter Lines

Ashley Hugill 3-2 Kyren Wilson
Elliot Slessor 3-1 Peter Devlin
Jimmy Robertson 3-0 Mark Joyce
Joe Perry 2-3 Ben Hancorn

Iulian Boiko 2-3 Anthony Hamilton
Dean Young 0-3 Scott Donaldson
Stephen Maguire 3-0 Jackson Page
Jack Lisowski 2-3 Barry Pinches

James Cahill 2-3 Ricky Walden
Michael Holt 2-3 Mark Davis
Michael Judge 1-3 Andrew Pagett
Mark Selby 3-2 Shaun Murphy

Jamie Jones 1-3 Hossein Vafaei
Ross Muir 3-2 Ryan Day
Chris Wakelin 2-3 Stephen Hendry
David Gilbert 3-0 Matthew Stevens

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