World Snooker Championship LIVE: Score and result as Luca Brecel holds off Mark Selby to win maiden title

Luca Brecel beat Mark Selby to become the first ever snooker world champion from mainland Europe.

The ‘Belgian Bullet’ resisted a sensational comeback effort by Selby to win his maiden title aged 28, holding on to come through 18-15.

“It was so tough,” said Brecel. “He’s the worst opponent to have in a final! He keeps coming back, he’s such a fighter. I don’t know how I did it.”

Follow all the reaction from the Crucible Theatre with our live blog, below:

World Snooker Championship final

  • Mark Selby beaten by Luca Brecel in World Snooker Championship final

  • RESULT: Mark Selby 15-18 Luca Brecel (best of 35 frames)


22:13 , Ben Fleming

Selby 15-18 Brecel

Brecel is full of emotion as his accomplishment sets in. What an achievment and what a triumph. He hadn’t won at The Crucible before this year but now his name is being etched into the history books.


22:09 , Ben Fleming

There were moments in this final session when it looked like it was all going to unravel for the swashbuckling Belgian but he has responded emphatically.

A marvellous 112 break ends as he misses on the yellow but it matters not because he has done it...Luca Brecel wins the frame and he is the champion of the world!

Selby 15-17 Brecel

22:05 , Ben Fleming

A couple more reds and blacks down and the lead stretches to 55. 91 points remaining on the table.

Selby 15-17 Brecel

22:03 , Ben Fleming

The Belgian eases into the 30s but his cannon into the back doesn’t give him an awful lot of opportunities. There is one and it’s beautifully played using the rest and guided into the bottom-right pocket.

Getting close now...

Selby 15-17 Brecel

22:00 , Ben Fleming

Selby blinks first after a cagey start to this 33rd frame...and Brecel takes full advantage. Slots the red and then a perfect effort on the pink up into the left middle. This is the Luca Brecel we’re used to.

Selby 15-17 Brecel - Brecel one away from world title

21:53 , Ben Fleming

Selby needs two snookers to try and rescue this frame but he leaves a red over the pocket as he attempts a cute shot on a red that was resting against the bottom cushion.

Brecel duly obliges, knocks it in and secures his first frame of the evening. He needs just one more to win the World Championship.

Selby 15-16 Brecel

21:47 , Ben Fleming

Another confidence-building long-range pot from Brecel who has to settle with just the one point as he nestles the cue ball up on the baulk cushion. Work to do for Selby in this frame...and he gets so lucky! He catches his safety attempt thick but the red cannons off another red and drops into the bottom-right pocket.

But just as quickly he hands back the advantage with a poor miss of the brown with the very next shot. Is the four-time champion now the one getting nervy?

Selby 15-16 Brecel

21:43 , Ben Fleming

The Belgian runs out of options and can’t quite generate a good enough position with the screw off the black but it’s a much needed break of 51 and surely a huge confidence boost to Brecel. Can he now go on and convert his 50-point lead.

Selby 15-16 Brecel

21:37 , Ben Fleming

Selby has been near fautless so far this evening but that’s a poor miss on the black after that first red pot of the frame. Brecel finally gets a chance and pots a red for what feels like the first time in an age. He splits the pack nicely off the blue and he’s up into the 20s.

Could this finally be the frame for the Belgian Bullet?

Selby 15-16 Brecel - Selby within one

21:34 , Ben Fleming

Selby takes care of business and builds an insurmountable lead in the frame to move within one. A quite remarkable evening session so far from the four-time champion who has now won five frames on the spin.

A familiar start greats the 32nd frame as Brecel is miles off with an early long-range red attempt.

Selby 14-16 Brecel

21:29 , Ben Fleming

Selby wins the battle of the safeties and Brecel patience runs short. It’s another poor effort on a red from the Belgian Bullet and he sets up a regulation red for ‘The Jester’. A noticeable exhale as Brecel returned to the chair and Selby now races into the 60s.

The Belgian has not potted a ball for 50 minutes now...and it’s only a matter of time till he’s only one frame ahead. How the tables have turned.

Selby 14-16 Brecel

21:24 , Ben Fleming

Selby eventually runs out of scoring red options as he fails to effectively split the pack again. He settles for a break of 43 with a safety shot - can Brecel now find a way back into the frame?

Selby 14-16 Brecel

21:20 , Ben Fleming

When it’s going your way, it really is going your way. Selby’s first shot of the frame sees him catch a red thick but it deflects off the black and nestles into the bottom-left pocket. He screws the white into the pack a few shots later to create some more scoring opportunities and this break is already into the 20s.

Selby 14-16 Brecel - trouble for Luca

21:16 , Ben Fleming

Selby can’t clear the table but it matters not. It’s another one in the books for Selby and he’s now back in within two of the Belgian who was really poor in that frame.

He’s still two ahead but he needs to turn the momentum of this game around and he starts positively with a good break-off to start the 31st frame.

Selby 13-16 Brecel

21:12 , Ben Fleming

Out of position on a couple of occasions by Selby and he has to opt for safety after a break of 50. The Englishman is immediately back in a scoring position, though, after a wild long red attempt from Brecel - what a change from earlier in the day when he couldn’t miss.

Selby 13-16 Brecel

21:06 , Ben Fleming

No nerves from Selby, however. He races into the twenties and splits the back expertly with a shot off the blue. This could be 14-16 before we know it...

Selby 13-16 Brecel

21:03 , Ben Fleming

A long-range pot is open for Brecel after the Selby break-off but he catches it far too thick and it misses comfortably. Selby can take advantage and slots a different red - the first signs of nerves from the Belgian, perhaps?

Selby 13-16 Brecel

21:00 , Ben Fleming

Nothing coming to fruition after that initial break-off and both players give each other the nod and the balls are re-racked. Take two...

Selby 13-16 Brecel

20:57 , Ben Fleming

The players are back out and Selby gets us underway for the final time after the mid-session break.

Two frames to win for Brecel. Five for Selby. All to play for...

Selby 13-16 Brecel

20:54 , Ben Fleming

The final couple of shots from Selby’s remarkable 122 clearance to get back within three of Brecel:

Selby 13-16 Brecel

20:40 , Ben Fleming

It’s time for the mid-session break with that frame wrapped and plenty to ponder for both players. Brecel had the chance at one point during the 28th frame to move within a frame of the world title. But Selby dug in, as he has so many times during his career, and now he is back to within three.

Brecel is still two away from the magical 18 required for the title but you have to feel that the momentum has shifted in this contest and Selby will no doubt be fired up to continue his comeback when we resume.

Selby 13-16 Brecel - Selby within 3

20:37 , Ben Fleming

A player of Selby’s calibre was not going to make a mistake with the way those reds were split around the table. It’s a professional 122 clearance and a stern reminder to Brecel that he is very much still in a contest as Selby moves back within three.

Selby 12-16 Brecel

20:28 , Ben Fleming

Brecel has often left a red open on the right-hand side after his break-off and he does so again. Selby was missing them earlier in the day but he makes no mistake now. A couple more reds before a glorious pack split off the black and now this frame is his to lose.

Selby 12-16 Brecel - back-to-back frames for Selby

20:22 , Ben Fleming

And clear them he does! Well done Mark Selby. He’s back within four so it’s still a tall order but those are the kind of ugly frames he has to keep winning if he’s to further reduce Brecel’s lead.

Selby 11-16 Brecel

20:18 , Ben Fleming

Selby leaves the door ajar with an average safety attempt and Brecel has a tricky long-range effort for the second-last red...but he can’t make it. He had every right to go for it but it means Selby is able to take out the rest of the reds with the cue ball landing in a favourable position.

Clear the colours and it’s another frame on the board for the Englishman...

Selby 11-16 Brecel

20:15 , Ben Fleming

Selby adds a few more with a tasty long-range red but he’s slighty out of position coming off the colour and a red effort ends up in the jaws of the bottom-right pocket. Brecel takes advantage but can only add seven before opting for safety with one red tightly alongside the black and another up against the right cushion near the middle-right pocket.

This is a low-scoring frame and whoever can pot these next two reds will surely win it.

Selby 11-16 Brecel

20:10 , Ben Fleming

Selby fashions a good snooker and Brecel can only escape at third time of asking. The Englishman adds another red via a cross-double to cut the deficit to 29-13 before once more opting for a safety.

Selby 11-16 Brecel

20:01 , Ben Fleming

That miss could be one of those moments Selby looks back on later this evening if the rest of the session doesn’t go his way. Plenty of work still to do for Brecel in this frame and he’s out of position shortly after. He tries for a safety but the cue ball doesn’t quite settle behind the blue which is up at the top of the table.

Selby can add another red to his score which is left open by Brecel but he too has to settle for a safety. You feel the next mistake in this frame could be crucial.

Selby 11-16 Brecel

19:57 , Ben Fleming

Selby is afforded another opportunity with a lengthy red and makes no mistake...on that one at least. A poor effort on the subsequent black and Brecel is back at the table. Nervy stuff from the Englishman

Selby 11-16 Brecel

19:51 , Ben Fleming

The Belgian’s safety does leave an opening for Selby which he takes with an impressive long pot. The white ends up behind the blue and Selby settles for a snooker but it’s a marvellous escape from Brecel firing it off two cushions, kissing the open red and settling on the cushion at the bottom of the table - beautifully played.

Selby 11-16 Brecel

19:48 , Ben Fleming

Right after that great frame, it’s a poor break-off from Selby as he catches the blue. Brecel takes full advantage and again pots the frame’s opening red. He can’t quite split the reds enough with his cannon and he opts for a safety after a break of 16.

Selby 11-16 Brecel - one back for Selby

19:46 , Ben Fleming

He can take advantage! Much has been made of Brecel’s shotmaking this final but that’s some of the best we’ve seen today from Selby. He’s sent all round the board chasing the reds and screws another off the black to further split reds.

His break ends on the blue but he has done enough with a break of 78 to win the frame and it’s a much-needed one at that.

Selby 10-16 Brecel

19:37 , Ben Fleming

Brecel produces a glorious double into the middle pocket and a tidy cut-back but doesn’t get lucky with the cue ball both times. On the latter occasion he tries an audacious cross-table blue effort which goes awry and Selby comes back to the table and takes advantage - he moves into the 20s and a cannon into the pack splits the reds nicely for the Englishman. Can he take full advantage?

Selby 10-16 Brecel

19:27 , Ben Fleming

Brecel fires in the opening red again with a lovely cut into the middle-left pocket but a poor miss follows on the next red and it’s just six points acrued by the Belgian. Selby misses out on a long-range red up the table but there’s nothing available for Brecel.

Selby 10-16 Brecel - Luca off to a flyer

19:23 , Ben Fleming

Brecel hoovers up the easy reds but soon finds himself short of options. Not to worry as it’s a glorious shot on the brown which works the cue ball around the table and back into prime position. He eventually settles for a safety and a break of 67.

Selby needs two snookers and starts with a lovely pair of pots on red and black but a poor miss follows and the Englishman concedes the frame.

Two more to go for Brecel and he’s showing no signs of slowing down...

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:14 , Ben Fleming

Brecel begins the evening session right where he left off this afternoon. Selby gives him a sniff with an average safety and the Belgian takes full advantage with a sumptuous long pot into the bottom-left pocket for the first red of the frame.

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:10 , Ben Fleming

The players are out and a reminder of what is at stake.

Luca Brecel had never won a match at the Crucible prior to this year. Now the Belgian is just three frames away from Snooker’s greatest prize and the chance to become mainland Europe’s first World Champion.

Mark Selby yesterday became the first person to hit a 147 break in the final of the World Championships and will now target a remarkable comeback in this final session to win his fifth world title.

The handshakes are done and Selby gets us going...

Selby 10-15 Brecel

19:04 , Ben Fleming

And we are back! What an evening we have in store and the start of the final session is fast approaching.

If you’re just tuning in, then you missed a marvellous afternoon session earlier in the day at The Crucible which left Luca Brecel on the verge of his maiden World Championship title.

The Belgian Bullet won six frames out of eight with four century breaks meaning he now needs just three frames in this final session to triumph over four-time champion Mark Selby.

Having won the opening four frames on the spin, Brecel was pegged back after the mid-session interval with Selby winning back-to-back frames. But the final two frames and session overall belonged to Brecel who won the last two frames in superb style to move ever closer to a shock win.

World Snooker Championship prize money: Rewards for winner, runner-up, highest break and 147

18:30 , Luke Baker

Luca Brecel and Mark Selby are fighting it out to win the 2023 World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, with a huge paycheque on the line.

Selby already has some money secured this year after scoring a famous maximum 147 break – the first time it has ever been done in a Crucible final. He will share the prize for a 147 as well as the tournament’s highest break reward with Kyren Wilson, who also pulled off the feat in the first round.

The four-time world champion Selby has won £7.2m in career prize money so far while Brecel has won £1.3m, according to Cuetracker.

Find out the full prize money for the World Championship:

What is the World Snooker Championship prize money?

Can Mark Selby turn this final around?

18:00 , Luke Baker

If anyone can overcome a deficit such as this, it would be Mark Selby - there’s perhaps no player in snooker history as scrappy and determined as the four-time world champion.

But Europsort pundit Alan McManus isn’t convinced that even Selby can come back from the brink this time. Here’s what he had to say

Luca Brecel establishes 15-10 lead over Mark Selby

17:30 , Luke Baker

It was a scintillating performance by Luca Brecel this afternoon as he took six of the eight frames on offer.

Here’s how he won the final, crucial frame of the session to move 15-10 ahead and just three away from victory.

Selby 10-15 Brecel - the evening session awaits

16:55 , Ben Fleming

With the afternoon session done and dusted, the evening session is next and play is set to resume at 7pm BST.

Luca Brecel needs three frames to become World Champion. Mark Selby needs an almighty comeback.

We’ll see you then...

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:53 , Ben Fleming

Luca Brecel rendered Mark Selby’s maximum a distant memory as he fired four centuries to fashion a 15-10 lead after a high-quality penultimate session of their World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible.

Looking utterly undaunted by the biggest occasion of his career, the 28-year-old Belgian moved just three frames away from becoming the first winner of the title from mainland Europe, and the first overseas winner since Neil Robertson in 2010.

Selby had entered the session on a high after Sunday evening’s stunning 147 but it was Brecel who rose to the occasion, blasting three of those hundred breaks in the first four frames as he turned his 9-8 overnight lead into a 13-8 advantage.

Luca Brecel opens up five-frame lead over Mark Selby in World Championship final

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:45 , Ben Fleming

If you’re just joining, then you’ve missed a marvellous afternoon session at The Crucible which leaves Luca Brecel on the verge of his maiden World Championship title.

Six frames out of eight and four century breaks means the Belgian Bullet leads 15-10 against four-time champion Mark Selby in a race to 18.

Having won the opening four frames on the spin, Brecel was pegged back after the mid-session interval with Selby winning back-to-back frames. But the final two frames and session overall belonged to Brecel who won the last two frames in superb style to move ever closer to a shock win.

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:35 , Ben Fleming

Here’s a look at the final few shots of Brecel’s marvellous break in that final frame:

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:26 , Ben Fleming

What is the thinking now if you are Mark Selby? He’s certainly not been at his clinical best but every time ‘The Jester’ has left even the smallest of openings, Brecel has barged through.

The two frames he did win in that afternoon session were long and drawn out those are the kind of situations he may be forced to try and recreate as he attempts to make the Belgian buckle under some kind of pressure.

It’s all set up for an intriguing final session but you feel like Selby has to strike early with a few frames on the spin if he’s to stand a chance against his fearless opponent.

End of session: Selby 10-15 Brecel

16:17 , Ben Fleming

Truly phenomenal play from Brecel in those final two frames. Selby looked to have clawed his way back into the contest with the first two hard-fought frames after the mid-session interval. Many a player playing in their first World Championship final would have wilted in that position but the Belgian Bullet rose to the occasion. A sterling 119 clearance in the penultimate frame and then some marvellous shotmaking to eke out the final frame.

He will return later this evening needing just three frames to take home the title.

Selby 10-15 Brecel - five-frame lead at the close of the afternoon session

16:12 , Ben Fleming

It does not matter where the balls are on the table, Brecel continues to find a way to get to them all. He splits the two remaining reds expertly and with the blue and pink safely potted, he takes the final frame of the afternoon session.

What a response from the Belgian!

Selby 10-14 Brecel

16:05 , Ben Fleming

Brecel opts for safety with no reds in a good position. A few shots later, Selby misses a good look at a long-range red and the Belgian exerts more pressure as he tucks the white ball up behind the green which currently occupies a position on the black spot. Selbey escapes but leaves an opening for Brecel...and he takes full advantage.

Still plenty of work to do with two reds close together in the middle of the board.

Selby 10-14 Brecel

16:01 , Ben Fleming

Now it’s Selby with the mistake as he misses out on a red using the rest. Brecel makes no mistake before splitting the red pack well off the brown. The score sits at 40-15 with just three reds left on the table.

Selby 10-14 Brecel

15:55 , Ben Fleming

Selby takes advantage with a nice long pot from the Brecel break off but he gets out of position with the white and misses on the yellow as he looks to carve out a position on the reds.

Brecel comes to the table but it’s a solitary red before a terrible miss on a routine black gives the table back to the Englishman.

Selby 10-14 Brecel - fantastic response from Brecel

15:48 , Ben Fleming

Brecel wins his first frame since the break in frankly stupendous style and it’s a fourth century of the afternoon. That break could and probably should have ended at various points with reds in tough positions but shotmaking of the highest order means the Belgian moves four frames clear once again with a 119 clearance. Remarkable.

Selby 10-13 Brecel

15:40 , Ben Fleming

Brecel isn’t fazed at all and takes advantage right off Selby’s break with a long-range pot. A couple more reds are available before an excellent shot on the black ricochets the white into the pack and further splits the pack for the Belgian who is into the 40s.

Selby 10-13 Brecel - back-to-back frames for Selby

15:35 , Ben Fleming

Another long frame and another one that crucially goes the way of Selby. He makes a slight mistake on the pink but Brecel - needing a snooker - pots the pink accidentally trying to set it up.

The gap is back to three now and Selby will believe again - his experience has come to the fore in the last hour, can he now press on and further close the gap?

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:30 , Ben Fleming

Selby completely misses at a long-range red but it’s a great recovery to snooker Brecel with his next effort. The Belgian makes contact with the red on the swerve shot but it ends up right over the top-left pocket. Selby makes no mistake and knocks it in and now should go on to close out this crucial frame.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:24 , Ben Fleming

And now a mistake from Selby. Brecel leaves him in a snooker after an excellent snooker and the Englishman fouls on the black and gives away seven points. He hits it at the second attempt but Brecel is then wayward with a getable opportunity into the top-right corner. Nervy stuff from the pair.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:20 , Ben Fleming

Selby does well to leave just one reds with a break of 54. He leaves Brecel with a tricky shot into the final red but it’s a superb swerve shot from the Belgian to escape a tricky position. Finally poised on the final red in this frame.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:14 , Ben Fleming

Brecel is afforded an opportunity on a red but can’t take advantage and it is Selby now who forces his way back into the frame with a well-judged pot up into the left-middle pocket. Still plenty of work to do for ‘The Jester’ to win the frame from this point, however.

Selby 9-13 Brecel

15:08 , Ben Fleming

An early miss from Selby in the day’s sixth frame gives Brecel an early opener to this frame. He splits the pack well but runs out of options and has to settle with an opening break of 41 with the white ball safely tucked away on the far side of the table.

Selby 9-13 Brecel - Selby claws one back

15:00 , Ben Fleming

Brecel can’t find another snooker and Selby is eventually able to pot the final red and win his first frame of the day. It’s the longest frame of today’s action but a much-needed one for ‘The Jester’. He has the experience over Brecel in games like these and taking him into the deep waters with those longer, mentally-taxing frames may well be the way he needs to go to exert some pressure on the Belgian Bullet.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:57 , Ben Fleming

Brecel makes another small mistake and this time it’s Selby who successfully snookers the Belgian. With the penalty, it’s Brecel, once again, who needs a snooker on the final red to be able to win the frame.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:54 , Ben Fleming

This frame is getting very edgy. Brecel leaves Selby with two looks at the final red but the Englishman can’t take advantage - the battle goes on...

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:51 , Ben Fleming

Brecel had plenty to do but he has worked his way back into this frame superbly. He clears all bar one of the reds and now Selby has to escape a snooker...and he can’t! A massive moment and Brecel now has enough points left on the table to win the frame.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:43 , Ben Fleming

A slight mistake in positioning on the black means Selby can’t get at another red easily. He tries to spin the white ball back down off the brown and into a pack of reds but to no avail. He settles for a break of 63 but he’s given another opportunity immediately by Brecel and makes no mistake with a sumptuous long pot and further extends his lead to 68. A snooker required by Brecel now...

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:39 , Ben Fleming

Selby needs to start well...and he does with a nice pot. He gets a tad unfortunate as he tries to split the red pack but it’s an excellent pot up into the left middle pocket to keep this break going as he enters the 50s.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:31 , Ben Fleming

The players are back out and Selby gets us underway in the second half of this afternoon session.

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:26 , Ben Fleming

Some highlights from Luca’s third century of that mini-session:

Selby 8-13 Brecel

14:16 , Ben Fleming

It’s time for the mid-session interval and it probably can’t come quickly enough for Mark Selby. He has to come out fighting after this break and get some frames on the board. He’s not played badly by any stretch but every small mistake he has made has been clinically punished by his opponent.

Brecel couldn’t have dreamt of a better start and he is now just five frames away from the title - he’s in a commanding position and perfectly set to press home his advantage before the evening session.

Selby 8-13 Brecel - four on the trot for the Belgian Bullet

14:13 , Ben Fleming

It looked ominous and it’s now fatal for Selby. Brecel looks like he’s having the time of his life out there and he cleans up the board after that mistake from ‘The Jester’. It’s a 141 break from the Belgian and he’s taken all four frames of this afternoon’s session.

Selby 8-12 Brecel

14:05 , Ben Fleming

Selby is the four-time champion but he’s the one looking nervy up on the big stage. Just like in the second frame, the Englishman misses a long effort on the opening red. The blue comes to his rescue to cover that red but Brecel has other options and it’s another fine cut-back pot into the bottom-left pocket.

The Belgian manages to split the pack of reds as well and he races into an ominous 40-point lead.

Selby 8-12 Brecel - Luca on the charge

14:00 , Ben Fleming

Wow, wow, wow. Scintillating stuff from the Brecel. He plots his way around the table but leaves himself with work to do on the final red. A double into the middle pocket to win the frame? No problem.

The Belgian clears up the rest of the colours for yet another century break and he now has a four-frame lead having won all three of the frames his morning.

Selby 8-11 Brecel

13:52 , Ben Fleming

Ooooh, how big could that be? Selby looks to split the pack of reds and leaves himself an awkward pot up the table into the left middle pocket. It bounces off both corners but doesn’t drop and Brecel is back to the table. Selby has a lead of 35 but there is plenty of available reds for the Belgian to work with here.

Selby 8-11 Brecel

13:48 , Ben Fleming

Brecel leaves his safety a bit short of pace and Selby takes full advantage with a fantastic long red effort. There’s no colour available so he tucks it in behind the yellow.

Brecel tries to escape but he misses the red behind the pack and it sets up invitingly for Selby to get a break going as he races into a 20-point lead in this frame.

Selby 8-11 Brecel - three-frame lead for Luca

13:42 , Ben Fleming

Brecel misses the pink but with a deficit of 72, Selby concedes the frame and the Belgian takes the first two frames of the day. What a start from the 28-year-old.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:39 , Ben Fleming

Selby thinks he’s left a good safety with the ball nicely placed on the back cushion but it’s no problem for Brecel with a stupendous cut-back red into the bottom right pocket as he extends his lead into the sixties.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:35 , Ben Fleming

A couple of nice pots on some more reds but Brecel is unable to create the required position to set up another red and he opts for the safety shot and a break of 43.

Selby 8-10 Brecel

13:30 , Ben Fleming

Selby just misses an early attempt on a red into the bottom right pocket and it leaves it in the jaw for Brecel to take advantage. There are a few open reds but the pack isn’t split a lot at this stage so the Belgian will have work to do to build a frame-winning break.

Selby 8-10 Brecel - Luca takes the opening frame

13:27 , Ben Fleming

If there were signs of nerves in his opening few shots then the Belgian has banished them in style to take the opening frame today. A break of 113 full of his typical shotmaking excellence and typified with a quadruple on the final red. Selby cuts a frustrated figure in the seat but nothing should surprise him - Brecel has been playing like this all tournament long.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:19 , Ben Fleming

The first mistake comes from the cue of Brecel as he looks to play a safety off the pack. Selby begins to set about building a solid first break but an uncharacteristic mistake from him means it’s just one of 24 and gives Brecel a way back into this frame.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:13 , Ben Fleming

The players are out on the table and Selby gets us underway for the third and penultimate session.

Selby 8-9 Brecel

13:09 , Ben Fleming

The TV coverage is underway and we are just moments away from the two finalists resuming this enthralling final. Luca Brecel, who had not won a single match at the crucible prior to this year, stormed into an early 6-2 lead after the opening session.

But a consummate and experienced evening session from four-time champion Mark Selby - capped off by a historic first 147 break in the World Championship final - means the deficit is just one frame as we enter the third of four sessions.

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, we aren’t too far away from the resumption in Sheffield. You’d expect Luca Brecel to continue attacking this afternoon, trying to punch back at Selby after letting his lead slip a little late last night.

Kyren Wilson reacts to Mark Selby’s maximum

12:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another man who might not have been so pleased to watch Mark Selby roll in that final black was Kyren Wilson, whose own 147 in his first round match against Ryan Day is now slightly less financially beneficial.

Jimmy White thinks Luca Brecel is ‘bang in trouble’ after Mark Selby’s 147

12:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jimmy White, joined in the Crucible 147 club by Mark Selby yesterday, fears for Luca Brecel after the way things ended last night. “He’s firing on all cylinders now,” White said on Eurosport of Selby’s late rally to move back within a single frame of his opponent. “He nearly made that last black to try and hold for the yellow, and it was almost an impossible shot.

“The shackles are off with him. Okay, he may have been a bit tired in the morning, but the type of game that Luca plays, he thought that I’d have to start attacking and all of a sudden now his A-game is there.“He’s always going to have his tactical side, and is always going to have the right shot selection. But now he’s scoring, and that fabulous 147. Luca is one frame in front, but is bang in trouble I’m afraid.”

Mark Selby trails Luca Brecel 9-8 (Getty Images)
Mark Selby trails Luca Brecel 9-8 (Getty Images)

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

However well Brecel played to establish that significant early advantage yesterday, the Belgian might still have room for improvement - his 99 in frame ten is his best break of the match so far, and we know what a brilliant scorer the 28-year-old is. He will have been frustrated not to take the final frame last night, but the overnight break may have come at a good time to allow him to reset.

Mark Selby joins illustrious group of Crucible maximum makers

12:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Mark Selby’s 147 yesterday was the 14th in World Championship history, following on quickly from Kyren Wilson’s own perfect clearance earlier in this year’s tournament. Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry have tallied three each, with Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White, Mark Williams, Ali Carter, John Higgins and Neil Robertson the other Crucible maximum makers.

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

As a reminder, 18 frames are needed for victory in this best of 35 encounter, with two separate sessions today starting at 1pm and 7pm BST. Both Brecel and Selby have played a lot of snooker over the last fortnight - the Englishman did look fatigued at times yesterday but an extra night of rest should have done him some good. You’d fancy this to go deep into the evening...

Luca Brecel narrowly leads Mark Selby in World Championship final

12:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We’ve still got an hour or so before our last two remaining potters are back on the baize. This match really is wonderfully poised. Luca Brecel will have been disappointed not to take more of a lead through to today, but the Belgian has shown few nerves as he experiences snooker’s biggest stage for the first time. It is extraordinary, really, that he’d never won a match at the Crucible before this year’s tournament.

Luca Brecel leads 9-8 as he chases a first world title (PA)
Luca Brecel leads 9-8 as he chases a first world title (PA)

Watch Mark Selby’s historic 147

12:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And here is Mark Selby’s 147 in full glory, with Eurosport kindly clipping together every shot in rapid fire fashion. Selby may not always dazzle in the way that some of snooker’s other stars can, but this was a sparkling display of supreme skill just when he neeeded it most.

Mark Selby’s historic 147 overshadows Luca Brecel’s bold snooker in tight World Championship final

11:58 , Luke Baker

It was almost impossible to imagine how Luca Brecel’s brand of thrill-seeking snooker could be overshadowed by the end of the opening day of this wild World Championship final, but Mark Selby managed it, writes Lawrence Ostlere.

Selby came to the table 9-6 down, eyeing a simple red; 10 minutes later he was walking towards the last black with a grin in the direction of his wife and daughter sitting up in the gods; they were watching a break from the gods, and once he completed the 147, the tension in the room melted away.

The crowd howled in appreciation as Brecel embraced his opponent with a big hug. The referee, Brendan Moore, took off one of his white gloves and shook Selby by the hand – this will be Moore’s last ever match and it is some occasion to go out on, overseeing the first ever maximum break in a Crucible final. Selby enjoyed the moment, throwing up his arms to raise the crowd’s volume like a rock star on stage.

Like all 147s, it had bubbled under the surface at first, awareness spreading gradually and then taking hold once the frame was secure. He left the most awkward red until last, nestling the cue ball close on the side cushion before rolling it into the corner with the help of the rest. Then it was about keeping his nerve, and we know Selby has plenty of that.

Read Lawrence Ostlere’s full report from a fascinating opening day of the final:

Mark Selby’s historic 147 overshadows Luca Brecel’s bold snooker in tight final

World Snooker Championship final

11:55 , Luke Baker

Welcome back to The Independent’s coverage of the 2023 World Snooker Championship final between Mark Selby and Luca Brecel.

Selby made history on Sunday evening with the first-ever maximum 147 break in the world final but he trails Brecel 9-8 overnight in the race to 18 frames.

It promises to be a fascinating Monday at the Crucible, so stick with us for full live coverage.

Mark Selby hits first ever 147 in World Snooker Championship final

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:35 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby hit the first ever 147 in a World Snooker Championship final as he cleared the table in his battle against Luca Brecel.

Brecel left a red over the corner pocket and Selby obliged, stepping up and going on to make the maximum. The balls were well spread but the four-time world champion still needed to carefully navigate the final red near the side cushion, and left the cue ball behind it before potting with the rest.

He stuck out his tongue to his wife and daughter watching on as he walked around the table to the final black, before nervelessly potting to make history. Brecel embraced his opponent while the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Mark Selby hits first ever 147 in World Snooker Championship final

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:28 , Mike Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:23 , Mike Jones

That’s the end of the evening session today. Mark Selby took it six frames to three to get right back into this World Championship final.

Luca Brecel still leads by one but Mark Selby is the hero of the night. His 147 was absolutely fantastic and a true sign of a four-time world champion.

What a finale we’re in for tomorrow.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 8-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:21 , Mike Jones

Just the colours left and Brecel’s safety play is letting him down. He leaves the yellow on for Selby who rolls it into the middle left followed by the green to the top right.

The brown and blue quickly follow to secure the frame for Selby!

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:18 , Mike Jones

Selby leaves Brecel with a difficult snooker to escape from and the Belgian does his best but leaves the cueball on for the last red of the frame.

Selby pots it and the black then plays another snooker to cover the yellow.

Selby now leads 51-48.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:15 , Mike Jones

Luca Brecel is annoyed after a potential safety shot doesn’t finish behind the green as intended. The opens up the table for Mark Selby who racks up an impressive break of 42.

He trails by five but doesn’t have an angle on the last red so has to leave it safe.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:04 , Mike Jones

Mark Selby’s play has just put Luca Brecel on the back foot and a few simple mistakes from the Belgian has let Selby back into the match.

Brecel does it again after a composed break of 48. A slight miscue leaves the red on to the bottom left and Selby rolls it in. The cueball flies wildly to the opposite pocket and hovers over the edge.

There’s no follow up colour for Selby. Brecel leads 48-1.

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 22:02 , Mike Jones

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

World Snooker Championship final: Selby 7-9 Brecel

Sunday 30 April 2023 21:58 , Mike Jones

That was a wonderful break from Mark Selby and he plays with the cheering crowd as the table is reset. It’s the second 147 maxmium of the tournament and Selby’s first ever at the Crucible.

What a time to get it too.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website