Mark Selby is seeking his third world title while John Higgins is chasing a fifth
World Championship final 2017
Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 30 April-1 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, online and app.

John Higgins won five frames in a row to take a 6-2 lead over 2016 champion Mark Selby after the first session of the World Championship final.

World number one Selby opened with breaks of 76 and 62 but Higgins’ superb 141 – the third highest break of the tournament – turned the session around.

The Scot made further breaks of 63, 95 and 58 to secure a four-frame lead.

The match resumes at 19:00 BST, with a further nine frames to play in the best-of-35 final at the Crucible.

Both players seemed troubled by the condition of the table in early exchanges – which had its cloth replaced overnight – even coming together at one stage to discuss their concern.

Despite pre-match expectations of the contest being a long slog with plenty of tactical play, Selby and Higgins quickly got into their rhythm, stroking in seven breaks over 50, including the 41-year-old Scot’s century.

But Selby looked largely out of sorts and missed a number of straightforward pots, giving his opponent the chance to open a clear lead.

A missed red in particular in the seventh frame, when 54-1 ahead, allowed four-time champion Higgins to clear up with a composed break of 58.

‘Higgins is back to his best’

1991 world champion John Parrott on BBC Two

I’ve thought for a couple of seasons John Higgins wasn’t anywhere near his best. I thought his long game was struggling a little bit and he’d lost a bit of confidence because of it.

But now his long game has come back, every facet of his game has come back. He’s a wonderful competitor, he plays the right shot all the time and plays it to an incredibly high standard.


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