Mark Selby, a major rival to Judd Trump in the Gibraltar Open and in the race for the Bonus Series prize survived a scare against Ken Doherty to progress to the next round of the competition.
The Englishman battled from a two-lead deficit to round up an incredible 4-2 win. This singular win has done its bit to keep his hopes alive.
The season’s Scottish Open champion started the game on the back foot and was wearing a forlorn look after two frames played. However, after some disaster plays from his opponent, the 2021 European Masters winner became perfectly placed to turn the encounter on its head.
Selby entered into this tournament knowing fully well that performing any worse than Judd Trump would be gifting the world number one the Bonus Series prize on a platter.
Selby could have come out tops in the first frame but it was Doherty’s as soon as he failed to tuck in a simple green. Doherty then stepped in to claim the frame.
The second frame was not so different and in a matter of minutes Doherty was 2-0 up.
The following two frames was Doherty’s turn to suffer some pathetic gaffe. Selby won the third frame to reduce the lead by one frame before leveling matters in the fourth frame.
In the fifth frame, Selby’s characteristic talent was on display once again. But you could see some element of luck there as well. You could say he was lucky to have knocked in the pink and recorded an excellent total clearance of 130.
Doherty had the perfect chance of leveling matters once again but made a grave error which Selby capitalized on to seal the game. A century break of 124!
Elsewhere, Kyren Wilson completed a 4-0 whitewash over Fan Zhengyi. Wilson brought an arsenal of guns to a pen knife fight. He was dominant and utterly ruthless from the very start to the end, leaving Zhengyi no room to wiggle himself back into the game.
Judd Trump was also a Thursday winner, seeing off Akani with two huge century breaks. He remains a favorite for the trophy.
Written by: Roland Arum