Murphy Sets Up Bingham Final
Shaun Murphy won four consecutive frames to beat Ding Junhui 6-3 and reach the final of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Llandudno.
Murphy will now face Stuart Bingham in a repeat of last season’s World Championship final, which Bingham won 18-15. This will be their first meeting since that Crucible clash. First to ten frames on Sunday will take home the trophy and £100,000 top prize, with the runner-up to receive £35,000.
Nottingham-based Murphy will be contesting his 12th ranking final and aiming for his sixth title, and first since the 2014 Haikou World Open.
This season had been a disappointing one so far for 33-year-old Murphy but he is now into his first ranking final of the campaign. The world number seven has reverted to an attacking style this week and it has paid dividends as he has won 18 of the 22 frames he has contested.
China’s Ding won the opening frame tonight with a break of 68. Murphy made a 62 in winning the second frame and could have taken the third but went in-off on the black after potting the last red and Ding cleared to lead 2-1. Murphy hit back with a run of 110, his first century of the tournament, to leave them all square at the interval.
Ding’s 66 helped him go 3-2 ahead, but Murphy took the next two frames with a top break of 47 to take the lead for the first time. Early in frame eight Ding missed the black off its spot and Murphy’s 88 put him 5-3 up. Ding led 30-0 in the next when he missed a red to a top corner, allowing Murphy to reply with 66 which proved enough for victory.
“I have improved throughout the week,” said 2005 World Champion Murphy. “I scored well tonight, I was aggressive and went for my shots. Ding is one of the best players of all time so I had to be near my best. It has taken me a while to get going this season but I’m in form now.
“Tomorrow will be about who makes the least unforced errors because we can both score heavily. The World final last season was a very high standard. I hope I can get to the winning line first this time.
“Stuart and I are good mates, I’ve known him for a long time and we play golf together. He has carried the mantle of World Champion very well this year.”
Ding finishes the tournament with £20,000 which boosts his hopes of keeping his top 16 place when the seeding axe falls for the World Championship.