Murphy fights back in style to seal semi-final place

Shaun Murphy. Picture by Monique Limbos

Shaun Murphy. Picture by Monique Limbos

SHAUN Murphy kept alive his hopes of winning The Masters for the first time after he came storming back from behind to defeat Marco Fu to reach the semi-finals.

The 2005 world champion looked to be in big trouble when he trailed 4-1 to the Hong Kong star after the mid-session interval.

But Murphy bounced back in impressive fashion winning the next five frames on the trot to book a semi-final clash with either Mark Selby or John Higgins.

It was a deja-vu kind of situation for Murphy who also fought back from behind to defeat Ding Junhui in the opening round.

Fu, who knocked Judd Trump out of the competition on Tuesday, continued his fine form at the start of the match racing into a 3-0 lead with a top break of 76 made in the opening frame.

Murphy reduced the deficit going into the mid-session interval to 3-1 winning the fourth frame with two significant contributions.

But after the restart this season’s Australian Open winner restored his three frame advantage with a break of 71.

But that was to be the end of Fu’s success in this year’s Masters as Murphy stormed back. Breaks of 86 and 81 quickly cut his deficit to just a single frame at 4-3 behind.

And the eight frame saw a confident Murphy level the scores with the first century break of the match – a 117.

At 4-4 the momentum of the match was shifting and when the former world champion won a close-fought ninth frame, the match was then there for the taking for him.

A break of 64 clinched the match for Murphy and completed a wonderful comeback victory.

Today’s second quarter-final clash will be between Selby and Higgins, starting at 7pm.

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