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Shaun Murphy admits O'Sullivan 'still the benchmark' to which all snooker players aspire

Shaun Murphy was beaten 13-7 by Ronnie O'Sullivan on Saturday (credit:BBC Sport)

Shaun Murphy insists Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to set the standards for the rest to follow after going down 13-7 to his rival in Round Two of the World Championship on Saturday.

Murphy saw his quest for a second world title brought to an end by 'The Rocket' - who dominated their contest to remain on course for a sixth Crucible crown.

There was increased anticipation ahead of the contest after Murphy dismissed his opponent's allegations of bullying and intimidation by Barry Hearn and the World Snooker board as “completely wrong” earlier in the tournament.

However, the 2005 World Champion was very complimentary about the 41-year-old, who will play either Ding Junhui or Liang Wenbo in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, and is adamant that he will take some stopping in Sheffield this year.

“Any match against Ronnie is a test of your skills and you have to play at your best to win,” admitted Murphy. “He always plays to at least 85 or 90 per cent of his game.

“I certainly don’t subscribe to when he says that he isn’t bothered – he certainly looks like he’s trying to me.

“He’s a potential candidate every time he turns up. If he plays with that level of focus in his next match, whoever he plays is in trouble.

“He is still the benchmark by which we all measure ourselves. If he plays the rest of the tournament with that level of determination, I think he will win.”



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Shaun Murphy admits O'Sullivan "still the benchmark" to which all snooker players aspire

Shaun Murphy insists Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to set the standards for the rest to follow after going down 13-7 to his rival in Round Two of the World Championship on Saturday.

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