Shaun Murphy prevailed in a dramatic finish to beat Cao Yupeng 5-4 and qualify for the final stages of the BetVictor German Masters.
Murphy has an impressive record in this event, having reached the final in 2015 and the semi-finals on three other occasions. He will have another crack at the title alongside 31 other players at the Tempodrom in Berlin in January.
China’s Cao took a 2-0 lead before Murphy fought back with breaks of 56, 118 and 102 to go 3-2 ahead. The high scoring continued as Cao responded with 128, then a 75 from Murphy put him 4-3 up. Cao won the eighth and had two scoring chances in the decider, but couldn’t capitalise and Crucible finalist Murphy cleared from the last red for victory.
Noppon Saenkgham knocked out John Higgins yesterday and followed up with a 5-4 win over Jak Jones. The Thai trailed 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 but eventually came through thanks to breaks of 105 and 65 in the last two frames.
Ryan Day secured his Berlin place by winning a Welsh derby against jamie Clarke 5-3, while Norway’s Kurt Maflin came from 2-1 down to beat David Lilley 5-3.
In round one, Ding Junhui’s first pro match in six months ended in a 5-4 defeat against Mark Davis. Ding came from 4-2 down to 4-4 with runs of 61 and 88 only for Davis to make a 119 in the decider.
On a day of close finishes, former World Champion Ken Doherty edged out Chris Wakelin 5-4 while Matthew Stevens came from 4-2 down to beat Martin Gould 5-4.
The qualifying rounds in Cannock run until Tuesday.
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