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Shaun Murphy claims Group One glory at the Champion of Champions

Murphy shakes hands with Ding (credit:ITV4)

Defending champion Shaun Murphy booked his place in the Semi-Finals of the 2018 Champion of Champions with a 6-3 victory over Ding Junhui in Coventry on Monday.

Murphy opened up with a 4-2 defeat of debutant Jimmy Robertson before reeling off four consecutive frames from 3-2 down to deny Ding and reach his first Semi-Final since March.

Murphy will now face the winner of Group Four (involving Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stuart Bingham, John Higgins and Ryan Day) on Friday.

"The game just seemed to change for me and at 3-2 down I was bang in trouble," Murphy told ITV Sport.

"I could've won the match 6-0, I had chances in every single frame.

"It's the little missed shot or missed cannon that can be the difference.

"I've had that bad a start to the season, maybe this could be the turning point."

Murphy began the group final in commanding fashion, opening up with breaks of 79 and 80 to establish a two-frame lead.

The 2005 World Champion had chances in the next two frames but it was Ding who secured both to level up at the mid-session interval.

Ding then dug deep again to edge frame five by 68 points to 60, but Murphy responded with a clinical break of 118 to get back on track before following in with breaks of 88 and 110 to move 5-3 in front.

Ding looked on course to pull another frame back when he made a 58 break in nine, but Murphy overturned the deficit with a 65, and though he missed the final black, Ding failed with two long pot attempts, allowing 'The Magician' back to the table to seal the win.

Murphy had earlier seen off European Masters Champion Robertson - who took the first frame with a break of 85.

Murphy levelled before firing in a 96 break to go ahead, but back came Robertson with an 80 to square it up at two apiece.

Murphy replied with breaks of 68 and 76 to avert a potential scalp in the opening match of the tournament at the Ricoh Arena.

Ding also recovered from a frame behind to defeat another newcomer - Michael Georgiou - by the same scoreline.

Shoot-Out winner Georgiou took the first frame with a break of 76 before Ding levelled and compiled a sensational clearance of 139 to go ahead.

The Chinese ace then followed up with an 85 break, and though Georgiou applied the pressure by securing frame five, Ding held firm to seal his progression by taking frame six to nil.

Champion of Champions 2018 Results


Monday November 5

Group One

1pm
Shaun Murphy 4-2 Jimmy Robertson

Not before 2pm
Ding Junhui 4-2 Michael Georgiou

Final

7pm
Shaun Murphy 6-3 Ding Junhui


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Shaun Murphy claims Group One glory at the Champion of Champions

Defending champion Shaun Murphy booked his place in the Semi-Finals of the 2018 Champion of Champions with a 6-3 victory over Ding Junhui in Coventry on Monday.

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