PTC Grand Finals 2011 - the quarter-finals (part II)

05:31:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

A well deserved victory for Shaun Murphy
The second part of the day saw both of its matches being ended on the same scoreline: 4-3. Even if we are talking about Murphy v. Lee or about Selby v. Williams, the matches were a genuine battle of cues, who kept us glued to our TV screens.

Many of us would have seen Stephen Lee cash yet another victory, more since Murphy hasn’t been in a very good form lately, but we were to be proved wrong, as the Smurf didn’t just win the match, but he did it in a wonderful way.

Lee started the battle by taking over the first two frames with runs of 48 and 100, only to see Murphy pulling one back. Still, the "Bulldog" Lee won another frame as to go 3-1 up and almost smell the victory of reaching the final. It was then when "The Magician" put his comeback strategy to work and started winning one frame after another. He draw with breaks of 116 and 68, but took the decider with a 62 one. It’s true that the last frame was quite a dramatic one, as Murphy was forced to stop at 39 due to a touching ball situation, but Lee’s safety shot left him with a good position and so Shaun hit another break to seal his victory.

Not looking good for the Welshman
At the end of the match, Lee congratulated him deeply and he had his reasons. It takes a great player to know another great player and to comeback by being lead 3-1, when you know that if your rival takes the next frame it may well be the end, it’s something!
Shaun Murphy said for World Snooker: "I thought I was dead and buried and it was a cracking match of snooker. At 3-1 down a little lad came up to me and said 'come on Shaun'. I thought 'I'm trying my best', but then I made a hundred in the next frame so maybe that helped.”
Now the Smurf has to prepare for another difficult encounter as the Welshman Matthew Stevens is waiting for him today, to play the first semi-final. ;-)

The last match of the day was given between the two "Mark`s" of this competition, Mark Selby and Mark Williams. Again, many of us were probably expecting a "re-match" of the German Masters final, with the same result or a different one, but that wasn’t going to happen.
If the first two frames had some rhythm in them, Selby hitting a 66 and a 59 to win them both, after that the standard wasn’t so great. Even the three frames that Williams won (one after another) weren’t much of a blast, they were scrappy and had too many safety shots involved to appear as something more to the eyes of the public. Still, don’t get yourselves fooled by it, for each point that the two players earn was obtained hard and after quite a battle.

Mark Selby books himself a place in the semis
At 3-2 in favor of the Welshman, who was now in the leading position for the first time since the beginning of the match, the Leicester man hit in runs of 24 and 38 to draw and bring the match into a decider. Decider that could have gone either way, as there were times when it was clear the Selby will win it, as well as there were occasions when Williams seemed like the favorite for the victory. At 42-45, in favor of”The Jester", the Welshman has such a hard luck as he fouled no more than five times, this giving his opponent a 20 points advantage; and like that wasn’t enough he left Selby with a red. So Selby took it, as well as many more of its "sisters" in order to win the match 4-3.
It wasn’t an easy victory, it was hard fought, but Selby deserves credit for keeping it cool until the end.

Today we shall have not just the semis, but also the final. But first things, first, so here’s the schedule for today:

12:00 (UK time) - Matthew Stevens v. Shaun Murphy (British EuroSport 2, from 12:00)
15:00 (UK time) - Martin Gould v. Mark Selby
19:30 (UK time) - winner of SF 1 v. winner of SF 2 (British EuroSport, from 19:45)

Best of luck to the lads and see you later on the day for some inside stories ;-)