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Champion Selby storms back to lead Higgins

© AFP | England's Mark Selby plays during the World Championship Snooker final against Scotland's John Higgins at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on May 1, 2017

SHEFFIELD (UNITED KINGDOM) (AFP) - 

Defending champion Mark Selby turned this year's Snooker World Championship final on its head on Monday coming from 10-7 down overnight to lead four-time champion John Higgins 13-11 with one session to go.

Selby, fondly known as the 'Jester from Leicester', is renowned for his redoubtable battling skills and the packed auditorium at the Crucible Theatre were treated to this in spades as the two-time champion completed quite a comeback having at one point trailed 10-4.

Indeed so slow was play -- no surprise as their previous world championship meeting the 2007 final provided the latest finish in the tournament's history -- the last frame was held over for the final session of the best of 35 frames contest.

Higgins, at 41 bidding to become the oldest winner of the showcase event since Ray Reardon won aged 45 in 1978, ended up being a virtual bystander on Monday.

The Scot, the last of whose four titles came in 2011, recorded his only success in stemming the flow with a break of 78 to go 11-9 up.

However, 33-year-old Selby, hoping to emulate legends Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan in defending their title, reeled off the next four frames to leave his Scottish opponent only too happy to regain his dressing room to regroup.

Selby's comeback was not disimilar to their previous final meeting as the Englishman had trailed 12-4 overnight before pulling back to 14-13 -- Higgins then raced away to win 18-13.

© 2017 AFP