Shanghai Masters: Selby and Ding set up a repeat of the World Championship final

Shanghai Masters: Selby and Ding set up a repeat of the World Championship final

Mark Selby came out on top earlier in the year at the Crucible.

Chris Lincoln

After a thrilling week of excellent snooker, the World's finest players in the sport were whittled down to just two as Mark Selby and Ding Junhui set up a repeat of the 2016 World Championship final.

Two worlds collide oncemore

With the weight of a continent on one contender's shoulders and the spirit of Leicester on the other's, it was World number one Mark Selby who came out on top back in May. Leicester's finest secured the title on the same day his beloved local football team won the Premier League, though he will be hoping he does not find himself 4-1 down as the Foxes did against Manchester United on Saturday. 

Selby has not always enjoyed regular success against Ding Junhui though. In 16 meetings over the past six years, Selby has won nine and Ding six. In finals the pair are tied at one win apiece following Ding's Welsh Open victory back in 2012.

Selby edges past Bingham after excellent comeback 

Both finalists find themselves in excellent form. Selby has won 18 out of his 22 professional matches this season following the World Championship success in May. However he did not find an easy route against his semi-final opponent Stuart Bingham.

Breaks of 76 and 65 helped Selby to a 3-1 lead, before the world number two put himself within touching distance of the final after four consecutive frame wins, including a 123 in the sixth, moving Bingham 5-3 ahead. However Selby reached triple figures for his score in the ninth and tenth frame to take the tie to a decider, before digging deep to secure a narrow 6-5 win.

Selby had to dig deep against Bingham (photo: Getty Images)
Selby had to dig deep against Bingham (photo: Getty Images)

Ding grinds a way through to the final two 

Ding Junhui's form has been just as formidable with 13 wins from 17 matches this season, ten of those coming consecutively during the month of September. He faced the form player of the tournament, Stephen Maguire, in a surprisingly low scoring contest with just four half century breaks between the pair, culminating at a high of 63.

Despite Ding falling 2-1 and then 3-2 behind, the local favourite had enough nous about him to battle past Maguire and earn another major tournament final berth where he will be hoping to go one better than he did at the Crucible.