May 16, 2013, 4:57 pm
It's that time of year again where all the players start to look back on their seasons. The ups and downs and general goings on of a full time snooker player.
It's not that easy to write this kind of blog as the start of last season seems so long ago. But in general I feel I had a really good season. Although I didn't set the world on fire, my season was building nicely to the UK Championship in York. I went there full of confidence and as a previous winner of that event I felt I knew what it would take to win.
I had some really good matches on my way to the final where I lost to Mark Selby, including the semi-final against Ali Carter where I was 4-8 down but fought back and won 9-8. It's always hard playing a mate and Ali and Mark are two of my best friends on tour so it was hard to take any real pleasure from the win but I have to say that it was one of my best career moments so far and one that I'm really proud of. If I could find a way of starting matches the way I finish them I'd be dangerous, ha ha.
I enjoyed another year of supporting our new 'World' tour 100 per cent and pretty much played in everything. Frustrating at times as although I played in all the ranking events and PTCs I still didn't manage to qualify for the Tour finals in Galway for the second year running, an event I won in its first year and so weirdly enough I am yet to defend, two years on.
As with all seasons, this one culminated in the World Championship in Sheffield. I really practised hard for this one, from about February and went with one intention. Winning. However, so did most of the other lads and so the path to the trophy was always going to be a hard one. By beating Martin Gould in the First Round I achieved a mini goal of doing better than last year. Getting past Graeme Dott proved I was getting tough to beat and my 'B' game was there. The quarter-final against Judd Trump was in my opinion the match of the tournament. I led from the front, he countered levelling the game 8-8 and the third and last session was simply top-class snooker from start to finish.
Although I eventually lost 12-13 it really was one of the best matches I've been involved in at the Crucible or anywhere else and I didn't feel there was any disgrace losing in that manner.
It wasn't the end to my season I'd hoped for and to go through the year trophy-less doesn't sit well with me at all. Going forward i have already begun making some changes on and off the table that I feel will help me get back in the winner's circle this coming season.
Having said all that, finishing the season without a trophy isn't quite true as at the World Snooker Annual Awards last week I was inducted into the World Snooker Hall of Fame along with all other World Champions yet to have that honour bestowed on them. To say that I was proud of this would be an understatement. I was and still am buzzing about it, and probably will be for some time. Having won the World Championship and UK Championship early in my career and for that to be recognised by the governing body in this way means I have the rest of my snooker life to do some proper damage on the table.
Until next time,
April 27, 2013, 11:28 am
"Hi folks. It's just a normal Saturday at home for me. Might get the power-wash out for the car and mow the lawn - maybe even think about an 'acca' on the football.
And yet, as you probably know, less than 12 hours ago I was involved in my last-16 match in Sheffield with Graeme Dott, which I was very pleased to come through 13-11.
I love those sort of games that swing one way and then the other. The length of the matches means that they can only happen at the Crucible and you get that drama. I love it.
I've got a lot of respect for Graeme: he is a former World Championship winner and knows exactly what it takes to win matches at the Crucible.
When I looked at the draw and saw it was him that I'd be facing in the second round, I knew I'd have my work cut out and have to give everything to be in with a chance of coming through.
He's renowned for being one of the grittiest players around and I felt I matched him in that department. My scoring was good when the chances came about and I felt I didn't let myself down on the tactics side, either.
It had the feel of one of those matches that was going to go all the way to 13-12, so I was a little relieved that I managed to get it done without having to go to a decider.
Graeme was very sporting when we shook hands. He offered his congratulations and wished me all the best for the rest of the tournament.
I've now got a nice few days' break again before the quarter-finals - just as I did after my first-round match with Martin Gould. Not that you really switch off completely from the snooker. In fact, I can't believe there's any other player who watches as much as me!
Maybe the garden might have to wait...all the best!"
April 12, 2013, 10:10 pm
SHAUN Murphy took time out from practising for the World Championship to visit Royal Manchester Children's Hospital today.
Shaun met young patients and staff and also made a donation of £3,000 to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity.
That was the sum Shaun raised with his '£100 pounds for a 100 break' initiative, which began at last year's World Championship.
The 30-year-old, who lives in Manchester, has renewed his commitment to the charity for the next 12 months, starting once again a week tomorrow at the Crucible Theatre, and he hopes to beat the total of 30 tons that he has compiled since last April.
His latest visit to the hospital raised a smile with the youngsters who came to meet him as Shaun, along with the charity’s mascot Humphrey Bear, took turns to challenge the children to a game of pool.
The Magician said: "The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital is vital to so many people's lives and the fundraising job that the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity does is outstanding and inspiring.
"It was great to visit the Hospital again to meet some of the children who are receiving treatment - and also the fantastic staff.
“The '£100 pounds for 100 breaks' is something I'm really committed to and I'll be doing my best for it at the Crucible and next season. My aim is to beat the 3,000 pounds we've raised over the last 12 months."
Shaun's latest trip to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital also saw him formally sign up for this year's Great Manchester Run. The 10km race around the streets of Manchester will take place on Saturday 26th May with Shaun appropriately taking entry number 147 as he raises further cash for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
He first became involved with its charity in early 2012 as a result of on-going treatment for his second cousin Maisie at the hospital.
March 30, 2013, 8:51 pm
SHAUN had another good week, making it through to the semi-finals before losing out to Mark Selby.
The Magician enjoyed early-week victories over Andrew Higginson and Rory McLeod.
It looked as if he may be on the way out in the last-eight as Jack Lisowski opened up a 4-2 over him.
But Shaun's battling qualities are well known and he staged a thrilling fightback to secure a 5-4 success.
Selby, back to number one in the world, proved too good earlier today as he saw off Shaun 6-2.