Murphy needs six more frames to reach the quarter-finals
Shaun Murphy established a commanding 7-1 lead over Joe Perry in the last 16 of the Betfred World Championship, while Judd Trump went 5-3 up on Marco Fu.
Murphy won the title ten years ago and is looking to double his tally of Crucible crowns. Victory over Perry would set up a quarter-final meeting with Anthony McGill.
The Nottingham-based cueman won a 39-minute opening frame today, then Perry got the better of a scrappy second. Murphy then pulled away to 4-1 with breaks of 121, 68 and 79.
Perry had a chance to pulled one back in frame six but missed the final green to a baulk corner, allowing Murphy to extend his lead. A break of 54 in the next helped put the Masters champion 6-1 up.
Perry made a 66 in the last of the session, but Murphy got the snooker he needed then cleared the colours to force a respotted black. And he slotted a long pot into a baulk corner to build his advantage.
Trump was denied the title by John Higgins in 2011 and is looking to reach the final for the first time since. If he can get the better of Fu he will meet another Asian ace in Ding Junhui.
Hong Kong’s Fu dominated the opening frame, but Trump then won the next two with runs of 75 and 80. The Englishman went on to clear from yellow to pink in frame four, and from last red to black in frame five, to go 4-1 up.
Fu pulled one back with a break of 120 and looked set to take frame seven until he missed a red to a top corner on 52. Trump made another excellent clearance, 66, to go 5-2 up. The last of the session went to Fu thanks to a run of 66 as he narrowed the gap to two frames.
Both matches return for eight more frames at 7pm tonight.