Shaun Murphy holds off Judd Trump fightback to reach World Championship Semi-Finals
Shaun Murphy is through to the World Championship semi-finals for the first time in six years after withstanding a stubborn Judd Trump fightback to prevail a 13-11 winner at the Crucible.
The Magician, who last appeared in the last four on the way to reaching his third Sheffield final in 2015, booked his place in the one-table set-up following a hugely impressive victory over the world number one.
World number seven Murphy enjoyed a dominant second session as he pulled away from 4-4 to establish a commanding 10-6 lead.
Unable to repeat those performance levels during the final session, the 2005 champion was pegged back to 11-11, but demonstrated tremendous character with timely breaks of 70 and 62 getting him over the line.
“We go on about how much we love coming to the Crucible, but I can assure you that 90 per cent of my last two hours was horrific!” Murphy told BBC Sport.
“When I did get my chance, I was thrilled that I stood up and made it count.
“Several hundred started, 32 came here and now there are only four, so who knows? It’s a situation I’ve been in before, but not for a while.
“I’m relishing the excitement of going out tomorrow, playing in that semi-final and I can’t wait to get out there.”
The match was finely poised at 4-4 when it resumed on Wednesday afternoon.
Both players exchanged the opening four frames, before breaks of 104, 59, 124 and 58 saw Murphy pull clear at 10-6 heading into the evening session.
The pressure on the two former champions was evident as they struggled to settle into their natural rhythm.
Nevertheless, 2019 winner Trump won three of the first four frames to reduce the deficit to two at 11-9.
The world number one continued his fightback with 67, before a stunning clearance of 111 saw him square the contest.
But Murphy regained his composure to produce the goods when it mattered most, with runs of 70 and 62 securing his passage into a fifth Crucible Semi-Final.
“Overall, I think Shaun was the better player,” said Trump.
“I’m disappointed not to take my chances, but he came back well in the last couple of frames.
“I’m just a little bit annoyed that I missed a couple of easy balls.
“I didn’t have the confidence that Shaun had; he played absolutely incredible in the second session.
“He’s had a bad season so hopefully, he can go on and win it now.”
The Magician’s reward is a clash with Kyren Wilson, who ran out a comfortable 13-8 winner against Neil Robertson.
With nothing to separate the players at 8-8, 2020 runner-up Wilson went into overdrive during the final session.
The world number six made breaks of 133, 59, 62 and 84 as he reeled off five consecutive frames without reply to advance to the semi-finals for the third time in four years.
Meanwhile, 2015 champion Stuart Bingham advanced to the last four for the first time since he lifted the trophy, after recovering from 10-7 down to edge out Anthony McGill in a deciding frame.
Trailing 9-7 overnight, world number 18 Bingham reeled off five straight frames – with breaks of 75, 51, 90 and 91 along the way – to lead 12-10.
The Scotsman, who overcame reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the second round, stopped the rot by winning the next two to force a decider.
But Bingham held his nerve with a magnificent 125 clearance that kept him on course to become the third qualifier to be crowned World champion.
He set up a Semi-Final showdown with three-time champion Mark Selby, who completed a comprehensive 13-3 rout of Mark Williams with a session to spare.
Leading 6-2, the Jester won seven of the eight frames on offer with breaks of 96, 58, 66, 79, 50 and 54 as he reached the last four for a second successive year.
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World Snooker Championship 2021 Results
Wednesday April 28
Mark Williams 3-13 Mark Selby
Neil Robertson 8-13 Kyren Wilson
Anthony McGill 12-13 Stuart Bingham
Shaun Murphy 13-11 Judd Trump