Wales’ Mark Williams beats Mark Selby to win third British Open title
Selby, though, came back to snatch a frame before the interval with his own half-century clearance.
After Williams moved further ahead again with a clearance of 133, Selby fought back with breaks of 98 and 73 to end the session trailing just 5-3.
Four-time world champion Selby took the first frame of the evening session with another century to close up again, only for Williams to respond and move into the interval with a 7-5 lead.
But Selby continued to dig in and secured back-to-back frames to cut the deficit back to just a single frame.
The Welshman ground out the 16th frame having trailed 56-0 with a 69 clearance to put him on the brink of victory.
Selby was 54-18 ahead in the next when he went round the back of a red up the table, handing Williams a free ball.
The Welshman took his opportunity, sinking the black before going on to clear up, taking the frame 59-54 and with it a 25th world ranking title.
At 48, Williams, a three-time world champion, is the second oldest winner of a ranking title – his first having come in 1996.
“It was unbelievable towards the end, and both of us were feeling the nerves a bit – how I managed to win that last frame, I don’t know,” Williams said on ITV4.
“I never expected I could still get to finals at 48 and to win, playing someone like Mark Selby, what can I say? These things don’t come along too often at my age, so I am just going to enjoy this one.”
Selby paid tribute to Williams’ efforts.
“He played amazing, I can’t remember him missing too many long balls – when he was at his peak he was doing that all the time and he sort of rolled back the years today,” Selby said.
“It wasn’t to be for me, I felt like I was fighting against it all day… but (in general) I feel good about my game. I dug in and gave it my all like always.”
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