Mark Selby bounced back from a below-par opening session to secure a 10-7 lead over Shaun Murphy in the final of the World Championship.
Murphy took advantage of Selby’s disappointing play in the afternoon to open up a 5-3 lead, but the world number three was back to his granite-like best in the evening.
The pressure Selby exerted eventually told on Murphy, whose potting unravelled towards the end of the evening.
The session ended at a good time for Murphy who has the opportunity to regroup and attempt to find the form that catapulted him to the final, but Selby looks in a mood to dominate.
Murphy made a fine start to the second session, stroking in a long red. However, he broke down on 49 – setting the tone for the evening – paying the price for not going into the reds when seemingly with a good angle on the black. He missed the split one shot later and Selby countered with an 85 to take the opener.
“A terrible safety,” as described by Eurosport’s Philip Studd, cost Selby in the following frame.
Selby safety mistakes are rare; as Studd described, it was a shocker – cannoning a red full ball in attempting to get back to baulk – to let Murphy in and he hoovered up an excellent break of 98.
As in the first two frames of the evening, Murphy was in first only to run out of position and Selby stepped in to edge ahead and win a protracted safety battle to cut the gap to one.
Murphy did not miss a pot in the first three frames of the evening, but still lost two of them. His first miss came in the final frame before the interval. It ultimately proved costly as Selby put together a couple of telling contributions to level the match at 6-6 heading into the interval.
The opening session was a bitty, error-strewn affair, but both players came out for the evening looking more relaxed and their play reflected it.
Murphy was unfortunate to lose position on a couple of occasions, but Selby punished him with the clinical precision of a surgeon.
A pattern of the session was Murphy getting in and breaking down. It happened again in the 13th, but Selby failed to punish on this occasion as he missed a tough red to the right middle and the Magician stepped in to move back in front.