Selby retains International Championship title by beating Allen
World champion Mark Selby survived a late fightback by Mark Allen to retain his International Championship title with a 10-7 victory in China.
Northern Ireland’s Allen came from 8-3 down to trail 9-7 – but Selby won the next to secure the £150,000 top prize and his first title of the season.
The win gives England’s world number one the 13th ranking title of his career, joint sixth on the list.
Allen equals his career-best world ranking of sixth despite his defeat.
He moves up from 11th thanks to his £75,000 prize, but misses out on a place at next week’s Champion of Champions event, with Neil Robertson the final qualifier for that event.
Three-time world champion Selby beat Ding Junhui 10-1 in last year’s final, but found Allen a much tougher proposition.
The Leicester player made a slow start to the season – a toe injury causing him to miss the early stages of the campaign before he failed to go beyond the quarter-finals of the next five ranking events.
Victory in Daqing is the 34-year-old’s sixth ranking title in the past 16 months, during which he has won the World Championship and UK Championship.
Selby clear of Ding in rankings
Selby is now nearly £800,000 ahead of Ding at the top of the world rankings after denying Allen the opportunity to secure a fourth ranking title.
Allen had not reached a ranking final since winning the Players’ Championship 20 months ago, and the County Antrim cueman found himself 3-1 down despite compiling a break of 110 to win the second frame.
The 31-year-old pulled one back with a run of 98 but Selby took control by winning three frames in a row with top breaks of 55, 60 and 61.
Allen won the last frame of the opening session with a superb 137 to keep himself in touch at 6-3.
The early exchanges of the evening session went Selby’s way as he won two frames without his opponent scoring a point, making it 8-3.
Frame 12 could have gone either way but Allen took it with a yellow-to-pink clearance, and he went on to make 78 in the next to close to 8-5 at the interval.
Selby’s run of 90 put him four up with five to play and he had chances to seal victory in frame 15, but could not take one and his opponent won it on the colours.
Allen got the better of a scrappy 16th as well to close to 9-7. But Selby took control of frame 17 with a run of 49 and later got back in to add 19 points to seal the title.
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