The 2014 Masters (Day 3) - "Superman" Murphy and Rocket Ronnie

23:45:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Smurf is back
The third day here at Ally Pally and it couldn't have started "better” than with a power cut that delayed the first match by more than one hour.

Still, this didn't interfere with Shaun Murphy's eagerness to prove that he's still got it, as he launched himself in a brilliant 6-4 win over Ding Junhui. Ronnie O'Sullivan meet Masters' debutant Robert Milkins in a match that had a pretty foreseeable end (Rocket won it by 6-1) although it didn’t feature a Ronnie at his best.

We might know him as "Magician Murphy", but today Shaun was Superman (well, the fact that he changed his walk-on song to the Superman soundtrack might have something to do with it also).

Early exit for Ding
Far from having a good season and sadly far from being in a good form for quite some time now, Shaun managed to prove us wrong and launched himself in a fearless battle against a very powerful opponent, Ding Junhui.

However, it was the "little" Chinese star who took the lead with breaks of 99 and 84 for a 2-0 scoreline, before Murphy could do anything and draw level by performing in runs of 71 and 64 as the mid-session interval was settling in.

The cue-battle continued on the same note, Ding taking a two-frame lead after the interval by using just a top break of 70. It was 4-2. And like before, Murphy crawled back and won two consecutive frames to make it four apiece.

Rocket not at his best, but still winning
Getting the best of a tremendous safety shot battle, Murphy managed to put his nose in front for the very first time the next frame being strategically fought-for and grabbed with a top break of 43, for a final 6-4 scoreline.

No more power cuts, but no more fireworks either: that's how the next match could be described. On one side we had a not-at-his-best Ronnie O'Sullivan (although the geniality sparkle was hard not to be noticed ... still) and on the other we had the Masters' debutant Robert Milkins totally out-of-shape and leaving the nerves getting to him.

A very disappointed Milkman
It was with a beautiful myriad of  breaks like 48, 40, 84, 42, 42, 91, 62 and 59 that Ronnie put his name on the quarter-finals list, although he had one more frame to won (the scoreline being 5-0), when Milkins managed to avoid the whitewash and win one of his own.

He punched the air, but unfortunately for him the Rocket ended the snooker affair the frame after, for a clear result of 6-1.

Ronnie Wood and Jimmy White supporting Ronnie
Sadly Milkins's performance was a classic tale of missed opportunities, while O'Sullivans' was a classic I-am-the-one-and-only-no-other-I-would-rather-be type of performance. Or something like that.

Jokes aside, Ronnie, even though far from his best, made a pretty dangerous statement (through this match) regarding him and the Masters trophy - he wants it!

Wednesday the battle continues as it follows:

1pm Neil Robertson v Mark Allen
7pm Barry Hawkins v Ricky Walden

*UK time