Belgium’s Luca Brecel won the Snooker World Championship for the first time with an 18-15 win over former world champion Mark Selby. The 28-year-old who dominated from start to finish was in scintillating form.
For his part, Selby did his best to try and keep up on the coattails of his rampant Belgian opponent and did claim his place in history with a 147 break, much to the disappointment of Kyren Wilson.
Coming into this final, much was made of the contrasting styles of the two men, but to his credit, Mark Selby showing the true champion he has been over the years was able to throw caution to the wind and went on an inspired run of winning frames.
At one stage, The Jester from Leicester was trailing 16-11, but that impressive run helped the former four-time world champion go to within one frame of Luca Brecel at 16-15.
Brecel, who had dominated this final for large parts was facing the prospect of being pegged back, something which the Belgian did to semi-final opponent Si Jiahui, who largely dominated their semi-final.
Just like he did in that match, he dug deep here too. In the 32nd frame, the now world number four was able to build a 51-1 lead, which saw him within touching distance of World Championship glory.
Many, myself included thought just maybe being so close to World Championship glory will see Luca Brecel panic and maybe lose some frames in his pursuit of the winning line.
What happened would be the polar opposite as Belgian player Brecel seemed to relax after stopping a bit of an initial wobble. The final frame of the match was a superb showing of potting by Luca Brecel.
Some fabulous positional play on some potentially tricky pots to match, only further demonstrated that Luca Brecel was playing snooker like he was on a different planet.
Unfortunately for Mark Selby, he is on the losing end of a World Championship final, which is just the second time out of the six finals he has been in.
As for world number four Luca Brecel, he was a breath of fresh air with his attacking brand of snooker. The only surprising thing was that this world title win at York was just his fourth-ranking title.
Luca was of course the youngest player to have played at The Crucible when he was a fresh-faced 17-year-old. It’s been 11 long years it feels like for Luca Brecel to showcase his talent on the world stage and convert it into a world title.
The signs were there, just maybe the Dilsen-Stokkem-born Brecel was destined for bigger things on snooker’s big stage, after getting to the UK Open Championship.
A victory for Europe as the man himself put it, but also a win for snooker too, as the World Championship has been won playing in an attacking way. Congratulations Luca Brecel.
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