Mark Selby thrashes Ronnie O’Sullivan to retain Scottish Open title
Mark Selby successfully retained the Scottish Open title with a 9-3 rout of rival Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.
The three-time World Champion maintained his incredible run of consistency in ranking finals, recording his eleventh consecutive win to eclipse Stephen Hendry’s joint record tally.
Selby dominated the final from the outset against a below-par O’Sullivan – who failed to catch fire as he went down to his second ranking final defeat of the season.
Selby opened up a 6-2 advantage at the close of play in the first session and duly sealed the deal by taking three of the next four frames in the evening.
“It feels fantastic to win,” Selby told Eurosport. “I’m really happy.
“I don’t feel as though I played fantastic today, I could have played a lot better. I was just searching for my cue action all day really.
“It’s not easy to win any tournament thesedays, you just have to cherish the ones when you do win them.
“In patches, in some games, I feel as though I’ve played as well as I can play, the signs are good but there’s still a lot of things to work on.
“If I was to choose to win a tournament, I’d want to play Ronnie in the final every time because he’s the best player to have played the game.
“Today he didn’t play fantastic, I didn’t play great – I probably need a new tip on but we’ll see.”
Selby, who was beaten 16-15 by O’Sullivan in the Semi-Finals of August’s World Championship, took the first frame of the day with the aid of a 56 break.
O’Sullivan levelled with a break of 72 before Selby hit back superbly with a break of 102 to regain the lead.
Selby extended his lead to 3-1 and made a 62 break in the fifth, but only for O’Sullivan to defy the odds and clear with 58 to close the gap.
Back-to-back breaks of 50 and 77 saw Selby stretch his lead to 5-2 before dominating frame eight to leave O’Sullivan with a mountain to climb in the second session.
The one-way traffic continued after the restart as Selby made breaks of 78 and 51 in killing off frame nine before O’Sullivan eventually stopped the rot with a 62 break.
Selby responded with a break of 61 to go within a frame of victory, which he swiftly secured with a break of 76 to overturn his opponent’s earlier 64.
“Mark played fantastically well, I’ve got no complaints, I didn’t really do a lot wrong,” admitted O’Sullivan.
“Just some days you don’t put enough points on the board and put your opponent under enough pressure.
“When you get to finals you have to do that and I didn’t do that good enough today.
“I think I’ve had a very good season, just you can’t play well every day. You have to remember I’m 45 now, not 31 anymore, the game doesn’t get any easier.
“For someone my age, I think I’m still doing pretty well.”
Victory for Selby sees him go level with Judd Trump and Neil Robertson on 19 career ranking titles, joint sixth in the all-time list.