/ Snooker

Mark Selby misses black in 147 attempt at China Open

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 17:18 | Comments

Mark Selby rattled the jaws of the pocket with his final ball
Mark Selby rattled the jaws of the pocket with his final ball

Mark Selby today laughed off the missed black that denied him a 147 maximum break and a £23,500 bonus at the China Open.

The world number two had to make do with a 140 break in frame three of his thumping 5-1 win over Mark King in the first round in Beijing.

Selby will next month bid to add the World Championship title to the UK Championship and Masters triumphs he has already enjoyed this season, and is looking for another strong performance this week.

He looked odds-on for the second 147 of his career when he left himself a near-straight black, but the white was nearer the cushion than was ideal, and the attempted pot rattled around the jaws.

Selby returned to his seat laughing at his costly miss, and wife Vikki in the crowd was similarly amused.

A 147 would have paid £20,000, supplemented by the £3,500 prize for the top break in the tournament.

"I left myself a really tough black," Selby later said. "It wasn't nerves, it was just a tough shot and I missed."

Leicester cueman Selby was in terrific form throughout his first-round match, though, as the near-maximum and further breaks of 111, 82, 91 and 104 saw the 29-year-old breeze past Essex veteran King.

He faces Ricky Walden next after Walden's 5-2 win over former world champion Ken Doherty.

Selby's spectacular show came after China's big hope Ding Junhui suffered a shock opening-round exit in the afternoon session.

Ding was coming off his triumph in the PTC Grand Final, that earned him £100,000 and seemed to signal the former UK and Masters champion was back to his best.

"John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump are out but there's still a lot of great players left" - Neil Robertson

However Ding was well beaten today by England's Barry Hawkins, beginning a fightback from 4-0 behind to gain respectability before losing 5-3.

There was further home disappointment as Lyu Haotian also went out, going down 5-2 to two-time world champion Mark Williams, while Mark Davis ground out a 5-3 success over Thailand's Dechawat Poomjaeng.

Australian Neil Robertson, the 2010 world champion who was runner-up to Ding in the PTC Grand Final earlier this month, was a ruthless 5-0 winner against his Bexhill-based namesake Jimmy Robertson.

Neil Robertson is eyeing his first major title since last year's Masters, a wait of over 14 months, and the draw could be clearing to his advantage.

"John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump are out but there's still a lot of great players left," Robertson said on worldsnooker.com.

"My season has been very consistent, the only thing missing is a major win. I'm just hoping to maintain my form and to get a bit of luck.

"In the past I wasn't getting to many semis or finals, but when I got there I was winning them. This season I've got to the latter stages a lot but lost three close finals. It's not that I'm failing to finish matches off, I just haven't had the luck that I've had in finals in the past."

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen had a best break of 129 in his 5-1 victory over Scotland's Anthony McGill, while China's bad day got worse late in the evening when Liang Wenbo tumbled out, losing 5-3 to England's Stuart Bingham.

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