Mark Selby wins English Open by thrashing David Gilbert
Mark Selby thrashed practice partner David Gilbert 9-1 to win the English Open, his first victory on UK soil since claiming his third world title in 2017.
Gilbert scored just 14 points in the first four frames as Selby compiled breaks of 88, 68, 79 and 85 and the 36-year-old from Leicester came out on top following a safety battle in the next to make it 5-0.
A break of 101 finally got Gilbert on the scoreboard, only for Selby to respond with breaks of 130 and 97 to end the session with a 7-1 lead and a 97 per cent pot success rate.
Selby won the ninth frame on the black and rounded off the victory in style with a break of 101 to win his first Home Nations title and the first prize of £70,000 in Crawley.
“It’s been a long time since I won my last tournament so it’s been tough,” Selby, whose last win was the 2018 China Championship, told Eurosport.
“I’ve been second-guessing myself for the last year, thinking, ‘Am I doing everything right, do I need to change anything?’ But all my close family and friends told me, ‘It’s worked before, it’ll work again, you just need to carry on believing’, and thankfully I did.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to win another tournament on UK soil, a lot of my wins have been out in China.
“To play Dave in a final was an absolute privilege and it’s only a matter of time in my eyes before he wins one and when he does I think the floodgates will open.”
Gilbert, who had been hoping to win his first ranking title, said: “It was an absolute Selby masterclass. He does that against me all the time in practice so it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I was just hoping that he didn’t do it today.
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