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He played fantastically earlier today and I had to just hang on to him. I saved my best performance for the final and I only had two good sessions in the tournament. Luckily my 'B' game is pretty good. And on Leicester City's incredible Premier League title success, he added: Selby joined snooker's greats by becoming only the sixth multiple world champion in the Crucible era.
The year-old, who pulled out of the previous two ranking events in preparation for the season-ending showpiece, had not played his best snooker in the tournament and came in for criticism over his often slow and meticulous style of play. But breaks of , 91 and 76 put him ahead on Sunday, a lead which he never relinquished.
Having played the longest frame ever at the Crucible against Marco Fu in the semi-finals, Selby was involved in further drawn-out tactical battles with play ending at However, Selby - who has remarkable mental toughness and never-say-die attitude - showed his experience to close out the match and the seventh ranking title victory of his career keeps him top of the world rankings for a fifth straight year.
China's Ding fell short in his bid to become only the fourth player from outside Britain to win the title and only the third qualifier to lift the trophy. The year-old previously failed to deliver his best at the tournament as two semi-finals were his best showing, but with less pressure of not being one of the favourites this time, he managed to showcase his talent with his renowned heavy scoring.
His 15 tournament centuries was only one short of Stephen Hendry's all-time record. They included seven tons in the semi-final win over Alan McManus, a record for a single Crucible match, but he was then overcome by nerves during the opening exchanges against Selby.
Although Ding, who moves up to ninth in the world, got to within one frame at stages in the final, Selby displayed his trademark grit and resolve to pull away again, leaving Ding frustrated. He is a tremendous competitor, his B game gives headaches to others, and he doesn't waste a shot.