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Selby comeback stuns Robertson
Mark Selby was taking a hard-earned rest on Friday after dramatically keeping alive his bid to lift the williamhill.com UK Championship and return to number one in the rankings.
Selby and Neil Robertson saved a grisly baize battle for after the watershed on Thursday night, with Selby eventually sealing a 6-4 victory in the quarter-final tussle at five past midnight.
"It's a special win," said the 29-year-old from Leicester. "The way I finished off was pleasing but at the start of the match I was terrible, pathetic, and I deserved to be 4-0 down. Until 4-3 I didn't really start playing the way I'm capable of playing. I finished off well and it's surprising to come out on top."
Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy contest the first semi-final at York's Barbican Centre on Friday, while Selby was able to reflect on a victory that may prove one of the most important in his career.
A neck injury meant Selby was uncompetitive at the World Championship in April, and it has affected his confidence in the months since, with his results in turn suffering.
Last month he surrendered the top ranking to Judd Trump, but Selby will be back on top of the world providing he overcomes the in-form Mark Davis in the second semi-final.
That mission looked doomed when he trailed Robertson 4-0, but Selby reeled off six straight frames to leave the Australian stunned. A break of 101 sealed Selby's victory, after he broke Robertson's resistance in the previous frame.
The pair slugged it out over 49 minutes of predominantly attritional snooker, with Selby eventually winning a safety exchange to claim the mental edge and the lead for the first time.
"I'm chuffed to bits to be in the semi-finals of one of the biggest tournaments we play in," said Selby, who has a disappointing return, based on his ability, of only two major ranking titles on his career record.
Murphy was also a 6-5 winner, fending off Luca Brecel as the 17-year-old from Belgium missed crucial pinks in the final two frames of their match.