Crucible Qualifying | Mark Davis & Jimmy Robertson | Starts 21st July!

Magician Progresses In Guangzhou

Shaun Murphy eased through his opening match at the Evergrande China Championship, defeating Liam Highfield 5-1 in Guangzhou.

The 2005 World Champion, who was runner-up at last year’s China Championship, looked to be in good touch this evening as he wrapped up the victory in just over an hour and a half. However, Murphy had previously been struggling to find his best this campaign.

The Magician suffered qualifying round exits at the Yushan World Open and the European Masters and a first round defeat at the Paul Hunter Classic. Those losses came amid plenty of changes off the table for Murphy, who has become a father for the second time after his wife Elaine gave birth to a girl named Molly. Their family have also recently moved to Dublin.

After reaching five finals last season and winning one title, at the Champion of Champions, he now hopes this can be the moment he can kick on in 2018/19.

Murphy said: “There are always positives to be found in situations, perhaps having a few weeks off at the start of the season, which was out of my control, could pay dividends. It is such a long and tiring season. I am here now and feeling good, I can’t wait to play again.”

Ding Junhui produced a fine display to see off the challenge of Daniel Wells in a 5-1 victory. The Asian number one fired in breaks of 89, 125, 79 and 53 on his way to the win.

World Champion Mark Williams went one better than Murphy and Ding, securing a 5-0 whitewash of the man he beat in the 2003 Crucible final, Ken Doherty.

World number one Mark Selby came through a gruelling three hour and 40 minutes clash with Thailand’s Sunny Akani 5-3.

Judd Trump put on a blistering performance to defeat Scotland’s Rhys Clark 5-0 in under an hour. While Martin O’Donnell secured one of the biggest wins of his career to send defending champion Luca Brecel crashing out by a 5-3 scoreline.

For full results click here.