Murphy Fallen Man In Garden Of Eden
World number 121 Eden Sharav scored the biggest shock of the Betway UK Championship so far as he beat Shaun Murphy 6-4 in the opening round.
It’s the second year in a row that former UK Champion Murphy has crashed out in the pre-televised stage in York; in 2018 he lost to Chen Feilong, another player ranked outside the world’s top 100.
Sharav, who lives in Scotland but is Israeli by birth, goes through to the last 64 to face Daniel Wells.
Murphy led 3-1 at the interval with top breaks of 82 and 88, but Sharav fought back to take the next three frames with runs of 54, 49 and 70. The next two were shared to leave Sharav 5-4 ahead.
Frame ten lasted 40 minutes and came down to the colours. Murphy fluked the pink but then missed a tricky black to a centre pocket. Sharav was left with a tough long black, the cue ball close to the baulk cushion, but slotted it home and punched the air in delight.
“It’s the best win of my career,” said 27-year-old Sharav, who had lost all six of his previous matches this season. “I’ve had no confidence this season but I kept fighting today at 3-1 down. I have been practising up to nine hours a day recently and hopefully I can push on from this.”
Murphy said: “I’m very disappointed, I didn’t see that coming at all because I have prepared well for this tournament and I’ve been having a really good season. I have to give credit to Eden because he played some fabulous stuff.”
Trump’s Got Jungle Fever
Judd Trump started his campaign with a 6-0 whitewash of Amie Amiri – then said he’d be willing to miss the tournament next year if he was invited to appear on TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
Trump breezed through the opening round in York in just 79 minutes, beating African champion Amiri with a top break of 125. Having already won the Masters and World Championship in 2019, he is aiming to become the first player to capture all three Triple Crown titles in the same year since Stephen Hendry in 1996.
“It would be a massive accomplishment in my career,” said the world number one, who now plays Ken Doherty or Mei Xiwen. “Only the greats of the game have held all three at the same time.
“It was an amazing crowd for the first round. This is one of the best venues and it was an excellent atmosphere. This is one of the big ones where I always get excited.
“This is all new to Amine and he needs some experience. It’s always good to see players from new countries as it shows the game is expanding. He has done amazingly well to get this far and hopefully we’ll see him improve.”
Trump is a fan of the ITV show ‘Celeb’ and would relish a trip to the jungle. “I’d go in but I’m scared of everything in there!” said the Bristolian. “I’d love to give it a try but I don’t know how long I’d last. I’m quite a fussy eater and I don’t like bugs. I’d have to be one of those who gets a doctor’s note for every trial. I’d sit on the bed and sleep all day. I’d love to give something like that a go next year.”
Asked whether he’d be willing to miss this tournament he replied. “Yes, it would be good to get snooker out there. To have a current player on the show and do well would boost snooker.”
Jack-Pot Needs Time To Adjust
Jack Lisowski beat David Lilley 6-2 with a top break of 68 and revealed he is playing with a new cue. “I changed it about two weeks ago,” said Lisowski. “I’m trying to get used to it but it might take six months.”
Alan McManus top scored with 112 and 107 in a 6-1 defeat of Elliot Slessor, while Anthony Hamilton made a 131 in a 6-2 win over Sam Baird.
Riga Masters champion Yan Bingtao looked in fine form in a 6-1 victory over Igor Figueiredo, firing runs of 111, 121, 89 and 127.