Finals

Murphy Enjoys World Grand Prix Victory

Shaun Murphy won the World Grand Prix on Sunday after a 10-9 victory over Stuart Bingham in Llandudno.

Shaun Murphy German Masters

Murphy will move up to fourth in the world rankings – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos.

In doing so, the 33 year-old gained a modicum of revenge for his defeat to Bingham in the final of the World Championship last May.

For large quantities of the match in Wales, it looked as though it was going to mirror what transpired at the Crucible.

Like in Sheffield, Murphy opened up an early advantage only to be pegged back and overtaken by his fellow Englishman.

However, while their world clash was a high-quality affair, this latest final was as much about who could make the least mistakes as they both struggled to find any rhythm.

Murphy opened up a 4-1 lead early on and appeared set to go four clear, which would have guaranteed a half-time advantage, only to see Bingham come from 50 points down to snatch an important frame and reduce the gap to two.

Bingham, sensing a frailty in Murphy’s temperament, began to score more heavily as he knocked in runs of 55, 93 and 74 to amazingly establish a 5-4 lead of his own after the opening session – despite at one point boasting a meagre 79% pot success rate.

The world champion even took the opening frame as the evening’s bout of action got under way but Murphy dug deep, taking three out of the next four to go back in front.

After Bingham leveled again, Murphy pocketed the only century of the match, an excellent 120 under the circumstances to move to within one frame of success.

But a match as scrappy as this was inevitably going to go all the way as Bingham forced the decider, only to fail to score a single point in the last as Murphy captured his sixth ranking event title.

That puts Murphy level with Mark Selby and Ken Doherty on the all-time winner’s list while it marks his first triumph in two years.

It was a disappointing final standard-wise but there was still plenty of drama to ensure ample entertainment, and Murphy wont mind either way as he collects a cool £100,000 for his efforts.

Bingham will obviously be disappointed, not least because he got himself in command after winning five frames in a row to open up a two frame cushion.

In truth, though, he cant really bemoan his luck because he simply made too many mistakes on the day.

It was another successful edition of the World Grand Prix overall, with great attendances right the way through to the final.

Its upgrade to ranking status added an even greater sense of prestige and, coupled with its broadcast on ITV, it now feels like one of the more important events on the calendar.

Next stop is Manchester for the Players Championship in just over a week.

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