Mark Allen storms past Mark Selby to reach Tour Championship final
Mark Allen swept aside a struggling Mark Selby 9-2 to progress to the final of the Tour Championship in Milton Keynes on Thursday.
The world number five dominated the contest from the outset, racing into a 6-0 lead, and quickly sealed the deal in the second session to set up a show-down with Stephen Maguire.
Allen, whose last ranking event final appearance came in the 2018 Scottish Open, did not afford Selby a single pot in the opening four frames as he produced breaks of 92, 54, 76 and 80.
He followed up by securing the next two frames, before Selby finally got off the mark in the seventh.
Allen dominated frame eight to take a 7-1 lead at the halfway stage, but Selby started the evening brightly with a break of 71 to double his tally.
Allen, though, battled his way through a tactical tenth frame and went on to clinch victory in style with a break of 82.
“I’m not getting carried away yet,” said Allen. “I came here to win the tournament and I’m only two thirds of the way there.
“I’ve had two very different wins, with Shaun [Murphy] playing so well and me being on the back foot for most of it to me starting so well today and not letting that lead slip.
“He didn’t pot a ball for the first four frames and not many people can do that to Mark Selby.
“I think he was just cold because he hadn’t had a shot, I don’t think he was playing that badly, I just put him under pressure early on.
“I want to try and get another title under my belt and he [Maguire] will want the same but also that added bonus of one hundred grand.”
Allen is now one win away from a sixth career ranking title and a first since December 2018.
Selby suffered his third ranking Semi-Final defeat of the season and will look to put that disappointment behind him ahead of next month’s World Championship.
“I thought Mark played brilliant from the start of the match,” said Selby.
“After the interval I had a few chances but I didn’t feel great in my game all day.
“That’s down to Mark putting the pressure on me from the word go.
“I don’t think I potted a ball for the first four frames so when I did it was more relief than anything else but no way in the world did I deserve to win today, Mark was exceptional.”