Brecel holds off Selby fightback in thriller to become first Belgian world champion

Luca Brecel held off a daunting Mark Selby fightback to become the first world champion from mainland Europe with a thrilling 18-15 victory.

Brecel, who is the youngest Crucible winner since Shaun Murphy in 2005, led 16-10 in the final but lost five consecutive frames to Selby, before battling his way over the line.

ALSO READ:  How To Make Money Daily Using Your Mobile Phone Or Computer

The 28-year-old joins Canada’s Cliff Thorburn, Ireland’s Ken Doherty and Australia’s Neil Robertson as the only non-British world champions.

World Championship

‘You deserve it mate’ – Sporting Selby hails Brecel after Crucible final


“It’s amazing,” said Brecel. “So tough. He’s the worst opponent to have in the final. He just keeps coming back he’s such a fighter. I don’t know how I did it.

“When it was 16-15 I didn’t fancy winning at all. I don’t know how I did it. Once it got to 17, I fancied the chance to clear up and it’s a great feeling.

“Snooker is a difficult sport. I could have lost to Ricky Walden 10-9 and if I did, people would say ‘he’s lost again in the first round’ and now I’m the winner. The small margins in snooker are crazy. I can’t believe it.”

‘I just wanted it for Belgium!’ – Emotional Brecel on first world title at Crucible

It looked like Brecel was going to have a relatively comfortable night as he thumped in a long red to make a 67 in the opening frame of the last session, showing no sign of nerves despite getting closer to the finish line.

But, Selby had other ideas and capitalised on a missed blue from Brecel in the next frame with a tidy 78 break and won a scrappy 35-minute frame to get some momentum on his side.

The Jester from Leicester was beginning to fly as he notched up a 122 and Eurosport expert Alan McManus said the final would be decided on Brecel’s character.

‘The final is a long way from being done!’ – Selby century puts pressure on Brecel

Selby continued where he left off with breaks of 50 and 31 to get within two frames, then a 43 and 52 put him just 16-15 behind his opponent, who had been frozen out.

To everyone’s surprise, Selby missed a black off its spot early on the 32nd frame, so Brecel finally potted his first ball in 54 minutes and had a vital break coming up.

He made a 51, then pounced on a missed brown from Selby to take the frame and be on the brink of winning the title.

Selby made a safety error in the next frame, so Brecel was in again and held his nerve with another brilliant century to become Belgium’s first ever world champion as the tears began to flow when he realised his dream had come true.

‘You deserve it mate’ – Sporting Selby hails Brecel after Crucible final

– – –

Stream top snooker action live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at

World Championship

Exclusive: ‘I was absolutely gone’ – Brecel ‘didn’t fancy winning’ when Selby fought back


World Championship

‘Unreal, I was absolutely gone’ – Brecel on ‘intense relief’ of winning Crucible final



Spread the love

Similar Posts