Mark Selby and Allen set up quarterfinal clash at Snooker Masters

Mark Selby scored just his second MrQ Masters match win in five years, thrashing Robert Milkins 6-1

London, Jan 11 (IANS) The thee-time champion Mark Selby scored just his second MrQ Masters (professional non-ranking snooker tournament) match win in five years, thrashing Robert Milkins 6-1 to make the quarterfinals at Alexandra Palace. The 40-year-old from Leicester lifted the famous Paul Hunter Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. He was also runner-up in 2014, but the years which followed have seen Selby struggle in snooker’s biggest invitational tournament. He’s not been beyond the quarters in his last nine attempts.

If four-time World Champion Selby is to make the semi-finals this year, he will have to get past last season’s Player of the Year Mark Allen. Selby and Allen could hardly be closer matched in the head-to-heads, which stand at 8-8 with eight of those encounters coming down to deciding frames.

Defeat for Milkins means a disappointing return to the Masters stage. It was the first time he’d appeared at Alexandra Palace in nine years. He’s still seeking a first Masters match win, having lost against Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2014 and Neil Robertson in 2015.

Selby controlled the opener this evening, before firing in a superb 119 to take the second. It was soon 3-0 after the 22-time ranking event winner made a frame winning 53 in the third.

Both players spurned straightforward reds in the next. Selby swiped the air with frustration after a disturbance from backstage during his shot and Milkins dropped his cue to the floor after failing to step in. Eventually, Selby stepped up with 63 to make it 4-0 at the mid-session.

When play resumed Milkins showed a glimpse of what he can do with a fine 88 to reduce his arrears. However, Selby forced himself over the line with breaks of 70 and 74 to wrap up a one-sided victory.

–IANS

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