Hong Kong Masters Preview

Murphy Builds Ten-Frame Lead

Shaun Murphy

Murphy has made ten centuries and 20 more breaks over 50 during the tournament

Shaun Murphy carved out a 13-3 lead over Barry Hawkins in the Betfred World Championship semi-finals.

Murphy, seeking to capture his second Crucible crown having won the title in 2005, now needs just four more frames in the last two sessions to set up a final clash with Stuart Bingham or Judd Trump. Indeed Murphy could settle the result a session early by winning four of the eight frames in the third session at 7pm tonight.

Nottingham-based Murphy has already won the Masters and two European Tour events this season, and his prolific break-building has proved too much for Hawkins to handle so far.

Murphy led 6-2 after the first session and quickly extended his lead today with a break of 73 in the opening frame, followed by a 105 which was the 70th century of the tournament, meaning that Betfred’s donation to charity Bluebell Wood is rounded up to £25,000.

The 32-year-old”s heavy scoring continued as runs of 79 and 72 made it 10-2 at the interval. World number five Hawkins, who lost 17-7 to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semis last year, pulled one back with a run of 79.

But Murphy’s 121 made it 11-3, and he added the next two frames with a top run of 54 to move closer to the final.