Murphy won the title ten years ago
Shaun Murphy, wearing his distinctive red suit, wrapped up a 13-5 win over Joe Perry at the Betfred World Championship to set up a quarter-final meeting with Anthony McGill.
Murphy did the bulk of the damage in the first two sessions, building a 12-4 lead with top breaks of 121, 68, 79, 54, 57, 50 and 88. Perry delayed the inevitable by winning the opening frame today, before world number eight Murphy completed victory in the next, compiling a run of 68 and sealing the result by potting the last blue and pink.
One of the best players in the world over the past 15 months, Murphy has won five titles in that period, including victory in the Masters in January which saw him complete the Triple Crown. His superb break-building and long potting will be formidable weapons against any opponent as he seeks to repeat his Crucible triumph of ten years ago.
“It can be difficult when you start a session 12-4 up,” said the 32-year-old Nottingham-based cueman. “Along with my team we try to be professional and have the same preparation we would have if it was 0-0. We treat the game with respect. Stephen Hendry used to get better as the tournament went on, but it’s up to other people to decide whether I’m doing that.”
As for his match with qualifier McGill, Murphy said: “He’s a much better all-round player than I was in 2005, I was just a mad potter. He’s a tactician and a break builder, as well as a very nice lad. It’s great to see him come through. He’s also got the second best walk-on music (This Charming Man by The Smiths) after mine (Disco Inferno by The Trammps).
People might say he’s got nothing to lose, but he’s in the quarter-finals of the World Championship, and when I got that far ten years ago I was thinking I was one of only eight players who could win it.
Asked about his suit, Murphy replied: “I was hoping to wear all red and camouflage myself against the carpet, so all you could see was the cue moving. I got a few suits made when I was out in China and I’ve got other colours in the locker. It’s something different – usually everyone wears black and white which is a bit boring. I actually think our dress code is a bit restricted. We should wear suits for this event, but maybe at other tournaments it should be shirt and trousers, or I liked the T-Shirts we wore at European Tour events last season. Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’m not running the game!”
Cambridgeshire’s Perry, who won his first ranking title at the Players Championship last month, said: “The match just got away from me in the first session and I was chasing it after that. Today I was just trying to make the scoreline respectable. It has still been the best season of my career and I’ll be back here next year to have another crack. Shaun has got everything needed to win this…apart from the suit! You need to play well to pull that off.”