Williams To Face Selby In Shanghai Final

The world's top two ranked players, Mark Williams and Mark Selby, will meet in the final of the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

The pair had contrasting routes into the final, World No 1 Williams edging out Neil Robertson 6-5 while No 2 Selby thrashed Mark King 6-0.

Williams has already won six ranking titles in Asia, including three in China, while Selby won the invitational Wuxi Classic close to Shanghai earlier this season.

Welshman Williams led Robertson 4-2 after top breaks of 100 and 52, before the Australian stormed back to win the next three frames with runs of 74 and 50.

Frame ten came down to the colours, and after trapping his opponent in a snooker on the yellow, Williams made a calm clearance which included exquisite slow-rolled pots on brown and blue.

In a tense deciding frame, Williams had the first chance but missed an easy pink to a centre pocket on 25. Robertson should have countered but jawed a blue off its spot on 7. He later went for a long red which missed its target and Williams was able to add the points he needed.

"I'm over the moon to be in the final," said 36-year-old Williams. "The conditions were difficult but I stuck in there and managed to nick the last two frames. I hope it's a good final tomorrow. Mark Selby and I have both won tournaments in China. I've always enjoyed playing here and I will give it 100 per cent as I always do."

Robertson, who had never previously got beyond the last 16 of a ranking event in China, said: "The match was there to be won. It's disappointing to have had a chance in the last and missed that blue. Then Mark missed the green but covered the reds that were over a pocket. Some days it's just not meant to be, and today was one of those.

"It's been a fantastic week and I look forward to more events in China because I feel a lot more comfortable playing here now."

Selby was not at his best but was barely troubled by an out-of-sorts King. The Leicester player enjoyed top breaks of 60 and 71 in winning all six frames.

"It was a strange match. I didn't score that well but I played solid and didn't make many mistakes," said double Masters champion Selby, who will now aim to improve his strike rate of just one ranking title from five previous finals.

"Mark struggled and didn't capitalise on his chances, otherwise it could have been a different story."

King said: "I didn't sleep well last night so I was tired and I struggled. I had chances in most of the frames and if I could have just got one on the board it would have settled me down. Mark is a great player but he didn't have to play that well today and that's the disappointing thing."

Semi-final results:

Mark Selby 6-0 Mark King
Mark Williams 6-5 Neil Roberton