In a spectacular comeback, England's Mark Selby has defended his world snooker title, beating John Higgins 18-15 in the championship final. The win is Selby's third title in four years.
England's Mark Selby became just the fourth man in 40 years to successfully defend his title as snooker's best, defeating Scotland's four-time champion John Higgins 18-15 at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre on Monday night.
"I can't believe it, I am still pinching myself now," Selby said on BBC.
It was not an easy victory for Selby, who fell behind 10-4 in the best of 35 frames match. The world's number one player roared back, winning 10 of the next 11 frames.
"I said 'pull something together.' If you lose, you'll want to at least go down fighting," said Selby.
Higgins came within one frame late in the match, 16-15, after Selby committed a foul in the 31st frame. The referee said Selby fouled when trying to pull off a snooker behind the black.
Though his appeal was unsuccessful, Selby kept his composure to win the final two frames, including a break of 131 in the 32nd frame to win his third World Championship in four years.
"Mark cleared up under extreme pressure. He is a fantastic champion," said Higgins, who defeated Selby in the final a decade ago.
Only Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan have also defended their world titles since 1977.
kbd/cmk (AFP, AP, Reuters)