Belgian Brecel crowned Snooker World Champion
Luca Brecel of Belgium celebrates with the trophy after his final against Mark Selby of England at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, Britain, May 1, 2023. (Photo by Zhai Zheng/Xinhua/IANS)
London : Belgium’s Luca Brecel claimed the Snooker World Championship title after defeating four-time champion Mark Selby 18-15 in Sheffield.Brecel, 28, had never won a match at the Crucible Theatre before this year’s tournament but shocked seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-10 in the quarterfinals, winning the last seven frames consecutively, reports Xinhua.
After coming from behind to defeat Chinese rookie Si Jiahui in the semifinals, Brecel established a final showdown with Selby and managed to hold a 9-8 overnight lead, even though his 39-year-old opponent made the first-ever 147 in a World Championship final last night.
The world No. 10 then claimed the first four frames on Monday, extending his advantage to 13-8. Selby fought back from 16-10 down to 16-15 in the last session, but Brecel secured the final two frames to become the fourth non-British winner at the season finale of the World Snooker Tour.
“It’s a dream come true, the best moment of my life,” Brecel was quoted by the World Snooker Tour website. “Especially the way I did it, beating Ronnie, Mark Williams, and then Selby in the final who is the toughest opponent of all.”
“The only thing in my head was that I wanted to share the moment with my family. It’s going to take a couple of weeks to sink in,” said Brecel, who clinched his fourth ranking title in his career and raised his world ranking from tenth to second.
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