Marvellous Mark Selby fightback stuns Stuart Bingham at the European Masters
Mark Selby produced a trademark fightback to stun Stuart Bingham and join the likes of Judd Trump and Neil Robertson in the European Masters quarter-finals on Friday.
The Jester looked out of sorts in the early stages of his showdown with Ballrun and was heading for the exit door in Milton Keynes at 4-1 down.
But as he has done so often in the past, Selby demonstrated true grit and determination and refused to throw in the towel as he reeled off four consecutive frames and prevail in the decider.
Three-time World champion Selby was appearing in the Last 16 at the Marshall Arena without having potted a ball earlier in the day.
He had been due to play Mark Davis, only for the world number 39 to withdraw from the competition after having his cue stolen on the eve of the contest.
It was the second walkover Selby has received this week, after first-round opponent Daniel Wells’ positive test for Coronavirus resulted in his withdrawal from the event.
His rusty start on Friday evening was pounced upon by 2015 World champion Bingham, who made breaks of 112 and 132 on the way to opening a commanding 4-1 lead.
But with his back to the wall, the eight-time major winner hit back in trademark fashion with runs of 114, 72 and 64 to set up a decider, which he controlled with a contribution of 54 helping him over the line.
Selby’s reward is a last-eight showdown with Ding Junhui in what will be a repeat of the 2016 World final.
The Chinese ace, who himself recovered from 4-1 down to see off compatriot Lyu Haotian in round three, made breaks of 88, 81 and 78 to overcome Mark Allen 5-2.
Elsewhere, world number one Judd Trump dropped just a single frame as he eased past Michael Holt before whitewashing Jackson Page in the last 16.
He will play World finalist Kyren Wilson, who hit breaks of 120, 96 and 97 in his 5-2 win over Anthony McGill.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Neil Robertson beat China’s Pang Junxu by the same scoreline to keep his title defence on track.
Next up for the Australian is a showdown with Shaun Murphy, who held his nerve to see off Tom Ford in a deciding frame.
However, Aaron Hill’s fairy-tale run in Milton Keynes came to an end at the hands of Yan Bingtao.
The 18-year-old Irishman, who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan and Matthew Stevens in his first event as a pro, was unable to replicate his previous giant-killing exploits as the world number 15 eased to a 5-1 victory.
The rising Chinese star will play Martin Gould in the quarter-finals after the Pinner Potter overcame Peter Devlin 5-3.
WATCH EUROPEAN MASTERS SNOOKER STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)
European Masters Snooker 2020 Scores
Friday September 25
97 Neil Robertson 5-2 Allan Taylor
98 Pang Junxu 5-2 Barry Hawkins
99 Tom Ford 5-1 Stephen Maguire
100 Zhou Yuelong 1-5 Shaun Murphy
101 Mark Allen 5-2 Ashley Carty
102 Ding Junhui 5-4 Lyu Haotian
103 Liam Highfield 4-5 Stuart Bingham
104 Mark Davis 0-/wo Mark Selby
105 Judd Trump 5-1 Michael Holt
106 Jackson Page 5-3 Luca Brecel
107 Anthony McGill 5-4 David Gilbert
108 Martin O’Donnell 2-5 Kyren Wilson
109 Martin Gould 5-2 Jamie Clarke
110 Peter Devlin 5-4 Joe O’Connor
111 Duane Jones 1-5 Yan Bingtao
112 Matthew Stevens 3-5 Aaron Hill
113 Neil Robertson 5-2 Pang Junxu
114 Tom Ford 4-5 Shaun Murphy
115 Mark Allen 2-5 Ding Junhui
116 Stuart Bingham 4-5 Mark Selby
117 Judd Trump 5-0 Jackson Page
118 Anthony McGill 2-5 Kyren Wilson
119 Martin Gould 5-3 Peter Devlin
120 Yan Bingtao 5-1 Aaron Hill