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Selby, a sure spot in the final?

Defending champion Mark Selby meets fourth-seeded Ding Junhui in the semi-final of the 2017 World Snooker Championship at Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

This battle will serve as a rematch of last year’s final, where Selby outlasted Ding 18-14 for his second world title.

The 33-year-old Selby, who won two of the last three world championships, cruised his way into the last four after dominating Marco Fu 13-3 in the last round. He built a 6-2 advantage on the evening session and won the first three frames of the morning session to send Fu packing.

Ding had to dig deep to beat five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-10 in the quarter-final and set-up the rematch against Selby. Ding lost 10 of his past 12 matches against the Rocket but his blistering start in this match allowed him to establish a 10-6 lead on the evening session and it was enough to survive O’Sullivan’s 146 break in the later frames.

Selby is favoured by Dafabet to show his mastery of Ding at 1/2; while an upset from the Chinese is at 8/5 in the betting. The pair last met at the 2016 International Championship final, where the Englishman dominated Ding 10-1. Selby narrowly leads their head-to-head record with 13 wins in 25 meetings.

Dafabet prices the -3.5 handicap against Selby at 23/20, seeing that the two-time champion won by large margins in the past rounds. Selby dominated Fergal O’Brien 10-2 in the first round, drubbed Xia Guodong 13-6 in the second and won by 10 frames against Fu.

The winner of this match will go on to the final and face the victor of the battle between John Higgins and Barry Hawkins, who are seeded sixth and seventh, respectively.

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