SHAUN MURPHY stands just four frames away from reaching the World Championship final for a third time after building a massive ten-frame lead against Barry Hawkins.
Murphy was in unstoppable form as he won the semi-final’s second session 7-1 to going into tonight’s third session with a commanding 13-3 lead.
It is possible Murphy could clinch his place in the final as early as tonight when the match resumes for its third session from 7pm. If that were to happen, it would be the second year running Hawkins has lost a World Championship semi-final with a session and day to spare following his loss to Ronnie O’Sullivan twelve months ago.
Murphy won the World Championship in 2005 before losing to John Higgins in the final of 2009. And it is more than likely he will end the day just one win away from claiming his second world title.
Trailing 6-2 overnight, it was vital for Hawkins to make a positive start against Murphy who throughout the tournament has shown he is in the form of his life.
But it was Murphy’s flawless display which took the match right away from Hawkins. A break of 73 handed him the first frame before a ruthless century of 105 from a Hawkins break up put him 8-2 to the good.
THE SECOND SESSION SAW MURPHY MAKE BREAKS OF 73, 105, 79, 72, 121, 54
Murphy did not look like missing a single pot and his domination continued as a break of 79 was followed with a run of 72 to go 10-2 ahead at the mid-session interval.
Hawkins managed to get a frame on the board after the restart with a break of 79 but the one-sided nature of the match continued as Murphy won the next three frames to take even further control, including a break of 121.
Should Hawkins win the match from this position, it may be considered one of snooker’s greatest comebacks – that is the task facing him as things stand.