He’s had a tough start to the season – but there was reason for Shaun Murphy to be cheerful on Monday as he came back from behind twice to reach the Champion of Champions semi-finals.
The 2005 world champion beat Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the invitational competition twelve months ago and now he’s two more wins away from keeping the trophy.
Murphy came back from a frame down to beat Jimmy Robertson 4-2 in his first match before producing a brilliant comeback to knock out Ding Junhui in the evening.
The 36-year-old cruised to a 2-0 lead before China’s number one star Ding rallied to take a 3-2 lead against the Englishman.
But Murphy battled back winning four frames on the bounce to secure a 6-3 victory.
The two victories ensured Murphy’s place in Friday’s first semi-final where he could meet O’Sullivan again should the five-times world champion win his group matches on Tuesday.
Back to back wins will give Murphy renewed confidence after a troubling start to the campaign in which he has failed to produce his best form.
Murphy has suffered early exits in the International Championship – losing 6-0 in the qualifying round – as well as the English Open, European Masters, Paul Hunter Classic and Riga Masters.
He pulled out of the Shanghai Masters for personal reasons.
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