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Shaun Murphy Continues World Open Defence

Reigning champion Shaun Murphy is into the quarter-finals of the World Open after a 5-1 victory over Kurt Maflin in Yushan.

Murphy McGill

Murphy and McGill could meet in the final on Sunday – photo courtesy of Monique Limbos

Murphy had waited more than tears to defend the title he won in Haikou, but is now only three wins away from repeating the success in China.

The Englishman dominated the encounter from start to finish, outscoring his opponent with five breaks above 50 including a 106 in the last to seal his progress.

Maflin had manoeuvred his way through the rounds this week despite an unusual incident which saw him bitten by a worm and resulted in his thumb doubling in size.

However, he couldn’t worm himself into the quarter-finals as Murphy controlled the contest from the outset.

Fellow tournament favourite Neil Robertson recorded a similar scoreline in his defeat of Ryan Day – boasting consecutive centuries along the way.

The Australian will meet David Gilbert with a semi-final berth at stake after the International Championship runner-up whitewashed Zhang Anda, ending Chinese hopes for a home triumph.

Murphy will face countryman Joe Perry after the latter held off Ben Woollaston for a 5-4 win.

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday the bottom half of the draw was whittled down.

In the battle of two legends who have accumulated 46 ranking event trophies between them, John Higgins reeled off the last five frames to overcome old foe Mark Williams 5-2.

The highlight of an entertaining encounter came in the fifth frame when the Scot compiled a total clearance 144 to set the bar for the highest break of the event so far.

Higgins’ compatriot Anthony McGill, champion in India earlier this month, continued his rich run of form recently with a 5-2 victory over Matthew Selt.

Alan McManus couldn’t make it a Scottish treble, though, as the World Championship semi-finalist was thumped 5-0 by Mark Selby’s conqueror, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Finally, Ali Carter took another step in his recovery back up the rankings after coming from 4-2 down to deny Daniel Wells in a deciding frame thriller.

Click here to view the draw.

 

Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.