2014 Gdynia Open - Return of the Magician

00:35:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

One happy bunny - Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy beat Fergal O'Brien 4-1 to lift the 2014 Gdynia Open trophy and put a long-expected stop to the silverware drought. Since 2011 when he cashed the PTC Grand Finals title, the player we all know as "The Magician" has struggled to find his form and was unable to win any ranking events.

However the spell dissipated tonight when Murphy managed to write his name in shiny lights. Not to mention that early on, he hit a marvellous 147 by playing against Jamie Jones. How about that for a return into the spotlight?

We all felt for him when after losing 6-1 to Mark Selby in the semis of the 2014 Masters, he even mentioned retirement from snooker, in a overwhelming moment filled with frustration, but as it turns out he didn't give in and the results of keeping his chin up were revealed in Poland.

The very-focused O'Brien in action
The final against Fergal O'Brien wasn't an easy one by far, although many have the tendency to write off the Irishman; he can still play. And when you see that focused-almost-Grinchy face of his when he’s on a pot, you realise how much it means to him to reach the final.

The start of the match was a bit edgy and it ended on the colours. At 49-43 in favour of Murphy things got pretty messy but after Fergal gave 8 penalty points to his opponent, Shaun wrapped up the opener.

It seemed like the second frame was going his way also, but when he took his eyes of the black, while the reds were nicely spread on the table, things looked dark for "The Magician". Fergal rushed in, but sadly he missed a pink to the right centre and ended his break at 34, Shaun returning for a nice and steady 75 that was bringing him another frame.

Runs of 65 and 63 were sure to put Murphy 3-0 up with only one frame needed to cross the finish-line, but Fergal took his chances and with a combo of breaks (24, 34 and 36) managed to avoid being whitewashed.

Shaun receiving his long-awaited trophy
The inevitable happened quickly, as the better player, in this case Shaun, hit a great century break (103) to end the match at 4-1 and get his much-deserved share of glory.
Delighted with his performance throughout the entire event, Murphy was presented with the trophy and a cheque for £80,000. Not too bad, I’d say!    

Even though the Gdynia Open is not a major ranking event, I'm sure any silverware is cherished by the Englishman who's looking pretty good to make his full return to the green baize. He still has a lot to work, for I’m sure all those years spent in the shadow didn't do him any good, but if someone can, he's the man for the job.

Apart from that, it goes without saying how thrilling it was to see new faces reaching the final, and by that I mean Fergal O'Brien. The Irishman didn't have a good control over the cue ball and that has cost him a lot during the final, but the fact that he got until this point proves he's pretty much in the run for bringing up his cue and taking anyone. That has passion written all over it.