Marvellous Murphy Storms Into Final

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Shaun Murphy came from 10-4 down to beat Kyren Wilson 17-12 and reach the final of the Betfred World Championship for the fourth time.

Wilson looked by far the stronger player in the early stages but the contest turned at the end of the second session when Murphy stole two frames to go from 10-4 to 10-6. World number six Wilson later led 12-9 but from that point Murphy gathered momentum and raced over the finishing line in the concluding session, making five breaks over 50.

Murphy goes through to face Mark Selby or Stuart Bingham over a possible 35 frames on Sunday and Monday for the trophy and top prize of £500,000 top prize. Having won the title in 2005, he is aiming to join an elite group of just six other players to have held the silverware more than once at the Crucible.

World number seven Murphy will be playing in his fourth Sheffield final; he was runner-up to John Higgins in 2009 and Bingham in 2015. The 38-year-old will be aiming for a tenth career ranking title from his 22nd ranking final.

Murphy’s performance over the past fortnight is a reversal of fortunes given how poor his form has been for much of the season. He has reached just one other ranking event semi-final, and before this event lay 18th on the one-year ranking list.

Adversely affected by lockdown more than most due to restrictions at his base in Dublin, his usual dedication to practice has suffered. But Murphy has found a wave of inspiration at his favourite venue, and has followed up his victory over world number one Judd Trump in the quarter-finals with another flamboyant display of long potting and break-building.

His swagger and confidence around the table are back in abundance while his attacking approach brings back memories of his greatest triumph 16 years ago.

Wilson finished runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan last year and must have believed he could go one better this time after beating Neil Robertson to reach the last four. But he made too many errors from 10-4 up against Murphy and the 29-year-old’s ultimate ambition of conquering the Crucible remains unfulfilled.

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