Shaun wins the Haikou World Open!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SHAUN Murphy recorded a superb success in the Haikou World Open today with a 10-6 victory over Mark Selby.

Shaun enjoyed a fantastic week which included victories over home favourite Ding Jinhui (5-4), Graeme Dott (5-4) and Mark Allen (6-4).

On that occasion, Selby roared out of the traps - today, it was a different story as Shaun raced into a 4-0 lead.

Selby looked to be on the comeback trail when a 91 break reduced the arrears to 4-2 but Shaun responded with a stunning three-frame flurry.

He made breaks of 98, 105 and 112 to reach the end of the first session with a 7-2 advantage.

Everyone in snooker knows that you can never write off Mark Selby, so often at his most dangerous with his back against the wall. And so it proved once more as the Jester enjoyed the early exchanges of the evening session, making it 7-5.

But Shaun responded well and crucially took the final frame before the mid-session interval. Even so, Selby was still up for the scrap and, having made it 8-6, looked likely to close the gap to just one frame when racing into a 49-0 lead in the 15th frame.

That was when Shaun really showed his class as - under massive pressure - he came to the table to compile a 78 and make it 9-6.

The frame that turned out to be the clincher was an epic. Shaun opened up a 71-0 lead with three different contributions to leave Selby requiring three snookers.

The tension grew unbearably for Murphy supporters as Selby took blacks with the final four reds before clawing back further points with two successful snookers.

As the frame went past the 45-minute mark, Selby was still trying for the one last snooker that he required with just pink and black on the table. Eventually Shaun sunk a long pink to a baulk pocket and breathed a sigh of relief...he had won his fifth major ranking event.

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