Murphy masters Haikou World Open

17:36:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Shaun Murphy - the 2014 Haikou World Open champion
Shaun Murphy beat Mark Selby by 10-6 to win his first major ranking event of the season, the mighty Haikou World Open. This is actually his first major win since 2011 when he beat Martin Gould to conquer the first edition of the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals.

It was about time to see a revived and working/potting at full-speed 'Magician' because the guy is very talented and a pretty tough opponent to beat if he gets going. It's true that his form hasn't been the best lately, but since his victory in Poland's Gdynia it was pretty clear that Murphy was making a comeback to his beloved green baize.

But leaving behind the frustrations caused by years of not getting any silverware under his belt, which sadly culminated with a crushing defeat in front of Selby in this year's Masters' semis that made him consider retiring from snooker, Shaun has managed to keep his chin up and through great potting and a few flukes here and there, to reach the final of a major ranking tournament.

However, the winning of the shiny trophy was no gimme and the entire final could be classified as a prefect drama, for what it started as a dreamy journey for the 2005 world champion soon turned out to be a genuine nightmare during the second session.

Mark Selby - the 2014 Haikou World Open runner-up
Murphy left no room for error during his first encounter with Selby and flew all the way to 4-0, until his opponent could wrap up two consecutive frames with a bit of help from a 91 break. And the punishment continued as he fired in breaks of 98, 105 and 112 to end the first session with a pretty comfortable 7-2 lead.

But everything changed a few hours later with the lads re-entered in the arena to resume their snooker match, for Selby took revenge on the man that left him behind.

Runs of 78, 31, 43 and 33 were enough to add no less than three consecutive frames into Mark's account, thus questioning Shaun's capacity to win the match.

Unable to settle in and presenting himself almost as a totally different player than the one who almost clean the floor with Selby in the first session, Murphy barely managed to score a 60 break and enter the mid-session interval with just one frame in his pocket. It was 8-5.

The Magician at work
15 minutes later Selby won a scrappy affair to clinch yet another frame, but this time Murphy responded with a great 78 clearance that was bringing him just one step away from the finish line.

A bit more focused, Shaun hit in runs of 50 and 20 before leaving his opponent in need of three snookers to tie. And as expected Selby tried his best to gain them ... but only managed to get two.

The conclusion of the match was set down to the blue, but when Selby potted it by mistake, the pink became the last frontier.

The lads put on quite a show of skills in getting snookers, in the end though (the frame lasted for about 45 minutes), Murphy managing to pot the last pink and get his hands on the trophy.

The lads
Surprisingly enough there was not joy or burst of emotions on Shaun's face, but you could see a great relief that he managed to overcome a tough opponent and a pretty tough tournament also.
His reaction is only normal, considering the amount of pressure he was on during the last session and also the last frame and if one should take into account his latest performances and results - when you are working so much, practice so hard and put in the hours, when you finally win something you don't even have the energy to be happy for it for it comes as a natural, deserved and given fact.

However, Shaun managed to smile for the cameras when he was handed the trophy and the check - it was a long-awaited moment after all.