Mark Selby claimed his fourth World Championship title with an 18-15 victory over Shaun Murphy at a sold-out Crucible Theatre.
Selby, who led 14-11 prior to the final session, is now three Crucible crowns off Stephen Hendry’s record of seven.
Runs of 66, 68 and a superb 120 helped him break Murphy’s resistance in a high-quality encounter.
Selby, 37, collects £500,000 in prize money and moves up to second in the world behind Judd Trump.
- Live reaction as Selby claims fourth world title
- ‘Goosebumps time’ – fans buzzing as Crucible hosts capacity crowd
- Schedule, results and prize money
The concluding sessions of the Championship marked a notable sporting milestone with a capacity crowd returning to a major UK sporting event for the first time since March 2020.
And as well as adding a semblance of normality, it brought a return of the Crucible roar and added to the nervous tension, particularly when Murphy threatened an improbable comeback – turning thoughts towards a first final-frame decider since Peter Ebdon’s 18-17 win over Hendry in 2002 – with back-to-back centuries.
With Selby on the verge of victory at 17-13, Murphy clawed himself back to 17-15 with a superb show of under-pressure potting, but a missed red down the left cushion when well placed ended his hopes of adding to his 2005 title.
“Mark is super-granite, unfortunately for me,” Murphy said on BBC Two.
“I started well but he went into super-hard mode, he broke me last night with that three-frame lead which is a significant lead in a match like this.
“Life has been difficult for everybody over the last 12 months but I want to say a very deep and personal thank you for everyone of you who has bought a ticket over the last 17 days.
“Sport is nothing without fans and we’ve been thrilled to have everyone back and a full house tonight. It’s been very tough for me this year with the travel restrictions but you’ve brought me back.”
More to follow.
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