By KEVIN CRAIGENS
FORMER Scottish snooker professional John Rea says that Mark Selby is “The man” after his 10 – 7 UK Championship win over Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Rea described the Final as “great”, he said: “Selby was great. The way Ronnie fought back was fantastic but Selby is so good a match player.
“Ronnie was humble in defeat and he took it well and it shows he is one of the men to beat.”
The Jester from Leicester joins two illustrious clubs as he was handed his cheque for £170,000. Selby has become the sixth man to win both the World Championships and the UK Championship in the same season.
Selby joins a host of big names like the man he defeated in last nights UK Final, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Parrot and John Higgins.
He also joins Hendry, O’Sullivan, Davis, Higgins and Australian Neil Robertson to win snooker’s triple crown on multiple occasions.
Selby took a 5 – 2 lead going in to the evening session after losing the first frame to an O’Sullivan century break. But the World Champion fought back trying to break the strides of the rocket.
The evening session was the complete opposite from the difficult snooker seen in the first session with four of five frames basting a break of more than 130. With three of those breaks being consecutive.
O’Sullivan mounted a comeback but his easy missed chances in the afternoon session proved to be costly as Selby won the match with two frames to spare.
The next Triple Crown event is the Masters in January, which is an invitational event that the top 16 players are asked to play in.
Rea believes it will be a tall order to beat Selby to the trophy: “I would not be surprised if he takes the Masters as well.
“Selby is the man to beat but you cannot overlook O’Sullivan. The top 16 players are all good players but the two to beat are Selby and Ronnie.”
The Leicester man now has two tournaments between now and the Masters with the Scotland Open beginning on next week and the German Masters following it shortly after.