Murphy Beats Selby In Hull Thriller
Shaun Murphy edged out Mark Selby 10-9 in a fabulous match to reach the final of the Duelbits Tour Championship, remaining on course to win two consecutive titles in the series.
An outstanding contest, which featured two centuries and 15 more breaks over 50 in the 19 frames, came down to a decider after Selby recovered from 9-6 to 9-9, but it was Murphy who got over the line. He’ll face Kyren Wilson in Sunday’s final, where first to ten frames will lift the coveted trophy and receive the top prize of £150,000.
Their only previous final meeting came at the 2020 Welsh Open when Murphy won 9-1, but this time it will surely be a much closer battle, with both players at the top of their game.
Playing some of the best snooker of his career, Murphy won the Duelbits Players Championship in February, and now has the chance to add another trophy to a superb season. It will be his third final within six weeks as he was also runner-up to Robert Milkins at the Welsh Open. Murphy, 40, will be playing in his 25th ranking final and aiming for his 11th ranking title, which would put him ahead of Jimmy White on the all-time list.
The result ends Selby’s hopes of regaining the world number one ranking from Ronnie O’Sullivan and the Leicester cueman misses out on back-to-back ranking titles having won the recent WST Classic.
After sharing the first session 4-4. Murphy took the first two frames tonight with breaks of 71 and 100. Selby hit back with 99 and 75 for 6-6, before Murphy took frame 13. In the 14th, Selby had a chance to clear from 57-0 down, but missed a difficult pot on the final yellow along the baulk cushion on 45, handing his opponent the chance for 8-6. An excellent long pot on the penultimate red in frame 15 helped Murphy go three up with four to play.
Four-time World Champion Selby stormed back to 9-9 with breaks of 81, 78 and 106. But Murphy took control of the decider with a run of 59, and later converted a thumping pot on the last red to make sure of the result.
“Mark never knows when he is beaten,” Murphy told ITV. “We’ve had so many great matches, tonight was another one. The crowd tonight was amazing. This is a massive event, we play all year to get here, and now it’s just Kyren and I left. I can’t wait to go head to head with him.”
Selby said: “I gave it everything, I never give in, that’s always my attitude. All credit to Shaun, he played great and it looked like he was going to score every time he got a chance.”