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Sublime Shaun Murphy secures Tour Championship crown

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Shaun Murphy is the reigning champion, but will not defend the trophy this year

Shaun Murphy sealed his second ranking title of the season at the 2023 Tour Championship courtesy of a 10-7 victory over Kyren Wilson in the final in Hull.

Murphy, who claimed Players Championship glory in February, continued his prolific spell of form by making it multiple ranking titles in the same season for the first time.

The world number six recovered from 4-0 down to deny Wilson in a high quality final at the Bonus Arena and scoop the £150,000 top prize.

“I can’t believe it, I’m absolutely over the moon,” Murphy told ITV Sport. “This is the first time I’ve ever won two ranking events in a season, my career’s been a little bit up and down – should have been better.

“The last few months I’ve hit a real strong vein of form.

“I think Kyren is a role model professional and big things are coming for him, of that there is no doubt.

“I’m very proud to get my name on this trophy. I have some great support around me and I’m very grateful. We live for these moments.”

Wilson, who made a sensational six centuries in his Semi-Final victory over Ding Junhui, made a flying start to Sunday’s final by firing in breaks of 108, 84, 62 and 111 to race into a 4-0 lead.

Murphy, however, hit back strongly with breaks of 75, 70 and 75, before edging the eighth frame to level the contest at the end of the first session.

Wilson secured the first frame of the evening with a 59 break, but only for Murphy to produce a clinical clearance of 131 to make it five apiece.

Wilson got his nose back in front, but a run of three straight frames from ‘The Magician’, including a break of 115, saw him take command at 8-6.

Wilson stopped the rout by virtue of a 60 break, but back came Murphy with a 95 to move within one of victory.

The 2005 World Champion quashed any hopes of a Wilson comeback as he duly sealed the title in the following frame, becoming only the third player after Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan to win all three Players Series events.

Wilson fell short of his sixth career ranking title, and admitted: “It’s been well-documented that it’s been a difficult month for me and my family.

“I’ve had no practice coming into this event so to achieve what I have is a complete bonus, to get to the final.

“I felt I was unlucky not to be 5-3 up, I had Shaun in all sorts of trouble then he had an incredible escape. I’m a bit disappointed with that.

“I missed a tricky red to go 7-5 up too. Against someone of Shaun’s class you can’t afford to do that.”

Murphy’s 11th ranking title moves him above Jimmy White and up to tenth on the all-time list and means he will head to The Crucible as the fourth seed for the upcoming World Championship.