Mark Selby battled back to come from behind and beat Shaun Murphy 4-3, sealing his place in the quarter-final of the English Open after a tense match that ended in the early hours of Friday.
In a topsy-turvy encounter that lasted well in excess of two hours, Selby rode his luck at times but also showed his quality and spirit to eventually prevail.
Leading 3-2 and on course to take the next frame, Murphy was rocked when he missed what could have been a match-winning black ball, and Selby took full advantage.
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In the last-eight, Selby will meet Ali Carter, who beat John Higgins 4-2 earlier in the night.
After a scrappy opening frame which would last over 32 minutes, Selby eventually seized the initiative to get his nose in front.
But his momentum was stalled when he left a red from the breakoff in the second frame; Murphy would go on to make 88, and although he was disappointed to have missed out on a maximum, he was back level.
Murphy was back in business in the third frame before he played a clumsy shot, opening the reds in the process. Selby built a lead of 30 before allowing Murphy back in. However, the 40-year-old was perhaps still reeling from his earlier mistake as he missed a straightforward red and Selby eventually wrapped up the frame.
It was déjà vu in the fourth frame as Selby’s poor breakoff allowed Murphy to steal in. This time, however, he had to dig deep as Selby threatened a comeback only to play a rare poor safety, as Murphy finally won the frame with a terrific shot on the brown.
The match looked to be swinging back in favour of Selby in the fifth until he missed a red when leading 54-0, allowing Murphy to respond with a counter-attack and take the lead for the first time in the night.
Another poorly executed safety shot from Selby in the sixth enabled Murphy to take control. From here, it looked inevitable that he would emerge victorious. Unbelievably, however, he jawsed the match-winning black ball, and Selby came roaring back to set up a decider.
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And it was Selby who held his nerve in the final frame of the night, playing a series of excellent shots to wrap up an impressive victory in the circumstances.
Meanwhile, Mark Allen is also safely through thanks to a 4-1 win over John Astley, while Luca Brecel beat Jamie Jones 4-2.
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