Ireland’s David Morris causes huge shock with victory over Mark Selby
Kilkenny man beats world champion in second round of UK Championship
Mark Selby (left) congratulates David Morris after he won their second-round match during the Coral UK Championship at the Barbican Centre in York. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Selby, who became a father for the first time earlier this month, was well short of his best form as he slumped to a 6-4 defeat.
Victory gave world number 62 Morris the biggest scalp of his career and he clinched it in style with a match-clinching break of 79 in the 10th frame, having earlier fired in a match-best 126 to nudge closer to the winning line.
Morris turned 26 on Thursday, and he now heads into the third round at the Barbican Centre.
Selby had reached the final in each of the last two years, winning the 2012 title before finishing runner-up to Neil Robertson 12 months ago.
Morris was relieved to fend off Selby after admitting he became jittery once in front.
He said: “I was nervous all the way through the match. Even when I was 3-1 ahead I was still shaking a little bit on shots. I am not so used to the big stage but I just wanted to do my best every time.
“I made a 126 break to go 4-3 ahead. If he had won that frame, he could have ran out to 6-3. I am delighted to win and to beat someone of Mark’s class is a big feather in my cap.”
As world number one Selby prepared to head for home, Morris was able to consider the scale of his achievement.
“I had a few good wins last year but I don’t think that compares to this because it is such a big event,” he said, according to the York Press.
“I have had wins over Judd (Trump), John Higgins and a couple of others but this was in the UK Championship, in front of a packed audience and on the television table.
“That’s a big thing to me. To beat the world champion you get a lot more recognition but there are so many good players now.
“To get a big scalp like that will give me confidence for the future.”
China’s Ding Junhui avoided going the same way as the Leicester potter, fending off crowd favourite Jimmy White in winning 6-2.
Three-time UK champion John Higgins joined Ding in the last 32 as the Scot fended off Stoke’s Jamie Cope.
Higgins has fallen into a trough of frustrating form in recent seasons, but breaks of 80, 97 and 69, twice, showed some of the old magic lingers in the Wishaw man’s cue.
Glaswegian world number 84 Fraser Patrick had a break of 139 in a decent 6-4 win over Welshman Ryan Day and Hong Kong’s Marco Fu made three centuries in an impressive 6-1 victory over China’s Lyu Haotian.