Indian Open: Matthew Selt ends 13-year wait, bags first world-ranking snooker title

After shocking defending champion John Higgins in the semifinal, Matthew Selt defeated Lyu Haotian to win his maiden snooker ranking title - the 2019 Indian Open.

Matthew Selt

The 2019 Indian Open triumph marked Matthew Selt's first world-ranking snooker title since he turned pro 13 years go.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

Matthew Selt’s long wait is over. Thirteen years after turning pro, the Englishman won the Indian Open, his maiden world-ranking snooker title defeating China’s 21-year-old Lyu Haotian, who was also playing his maiden ranking final, 5-3 in the title-decider.

After winning the first two frames, World No. 51 Selt watched as Haotian, one of the tournament’s youngest players here, produced a break of 115 to clinch the next frame. But Selt also came up with a century break in the sixth to level the scores at 3-all.

The seventh one was tight and, leading 47-35, Selt missed a red but minutes later, Haotian missed a black to hand back the advantage to the Englishman.

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Earlier, despite a quarterfinal against China’s Lu Ning that went into the wee hours of the morning, Selt kept calm and shocked defending champion John Higgins 4-2 in the semifinal.

“I didn’t even know what time that match got over. I didn’t sleep until 5:20 this morning,” said Selt about the match that slipped into the early hours of Sunday.

“I lay in bed thinking I am going to be playing Higgins. I was just excited, the adrenaline was pumping and I was just so hungry. I called room service at 5 o’clock in the morning, ate a steak sandwich and then got to sleep!”

Matthew Selt

Matthew Selt in action at the 2019 Indian Open.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


But despite the excitement within, he was all calm against Higgins, taking the first frame with a century break. “I missed the brown to go 3-1 up and luckily he missed the pink. Even then, 3-1 up, you don’t know if you are going to get a chance in the next frame,” he said.

“I tried to stay as calm as I could and got my chance and I took it. I think I have been calm all week to be honest,” he added.

As the match wore on, Higgins appeared to be under pressure. The former four-time World champion’s best break was a 61 in the fourth frame. 

Meanwhile Haotian took a big step in his promising career as he defeated England’s Anthony Hamilton 4-2 to enter his maiden ranking final.

The results

Final (best-of-nine): Matthew Selt (Eng) bt Lyu Haotian (Chn) 57-48, 89 (84)-6, 0-115 (115), 12-78 (56), 21-72 (66), 102 (102)-0, 67-49, 96 (72)-41. 

Semifinals: Matthew Selt (Eng) bt John Higgins (Sco) 4-2 (103 (103)-0, 41-66, 58-5, 62-61, 5-105, 107-8); Lyu Haotian (Chn) bt Anthony Hamilton (Eng) 4-2 (0-85, 30-62, 69-17, 100-5, 83-22, 68-4).

Saturday late matches (quarterfinals): Selt bt Lu Ning (Chn) 4-3 (112-12, 71-70, 9-91, 54-75, 64-67, 71-34, 86-0); Antony Hamilton bt Scott Donaldson (Sco) 4-2 (47-74, 127-12, 81-5, 0-89, 70-12, 66-2).