Selby fights off Walden

Selby fights off Walden
By Eurosport

13/01/2009 at 01:03Updated

Defending champion Mark Selby beat Ricky Walden 6-5 in a marathon battle to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters at Wembley.

The narrow win booked Selby a showdown with either Ryan Day or Mark Allen in the last eight.

    The match got off to a scrappy start with the opening frame taking over 40 minutes but Walden took it with a good pot on the final blue.

    Selby made a 40 and a 62 clearance to level at 1-1 but once again the balls ran awkward in the third frame as Walden did well to compile a break of 44 with both pink and black out of commission.

    Eventually, Selby's 15-minute search for snookers went in vain and the 26-year old wildcard regained the lead.

    Walden had the chance to hold the lead at the interval but broke down on 37. Another patchy spell of play followed as the match approached the two-hour mark but Selby found some rhythm with a 71 clearance to share the spoils at 2-2.

    A break of 40 helped Selby, the world number four, on his way to frame five and he produced a century in the next to extend his lead to 4-2.

    World number 35 Walden hit back with a 90 to stay in touch before Selby moved within a frame of victory with a 79.

    Another fragmentary frame followed which Walden eventually took with a 59 to trail just 5-4 and then forced the decider as Selby failed to get over the line.

    But, after over four-and-a-half hours of play, a break of 50 set Selby on his way to victory in a marathon battle.