Murphy thrilled to outlast Sullivan

Murphy thrilled to outlast Sullivan

Shaun Murphy is thrilled to have outlasted Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Championship.

Murphy will take on Stephen Hendry in the quarter-finals at the Crucible, while O’Sullivan crashed out to Mark Allen on Saturday.

Several players were surprised by O’Sullivan’s eve-of-tournament prediction that the title was likely to go either to himself or John Higgins.

O’Sullivan claimed he and Higgins were the only players capable of finding “an extra gear when needed”.

But with O’Sullivan’s bid for glory over, Murphy sees a great chance to secure the title he won as a qualifier in 2005.

“I can certainly play well enough to win this tournament, that’s for definite,” said Murphy.

“When I came into the tournament I think it was said there were only two players who could win it. And one of them has gone home.

“So I’m still happy to be here.”

Murphy’s clash with Hendry, which begins tomorrow, is a repeat of a first-round match from 2002.

That was Murphy’s Crucible debut, and he was beaten 10-4 as Hendry began his journey to the final, where he lost a classic match to Peter Ebdon.

Hendry has not triumphed in Sheffield since landing his seventh world title in 1999, and Murphy believes he is equipped to take on the great Scot.

Hendry has beaten Mark Williams and Ding Junhui so far, and is savouring his run.

But Murphy said: “I enjoyed my match against him before and I will enjoy my match against him in the quarter-finals.

“I’m a little bit better than I was when I made my debut here.

“It will be a good match I’m sure.”

Four matches finish today, as the quarter-final line-up is completed.

Mark King and Stephen Maguire will play two sessions, as will Mark Selby and Graeme Dott. King stands level at 4-4 with Maguire, while Selby leads Dott 6-2.

The afternoon session was set to be a thriller, with Scotland’s two-time champion Higgins locked at 8-8 against English qualifier Jamie Cope.

Both men made two centuries in the middle session of their tussle last night, and 23-year-old Cope showed no sign of timidity on the big stage.

Australia’s Neil Robertson converted 5-3 into a 9-7 overnight lead over 2008 runner-up Ali Carter last night, and that match was also due to finish in the afternoon.

Breaks of 56, 68, 22 and 30 saw Robertson secure the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth frames of the session on the black, after Carter had built big leads.

Robertson pumped his fist to show delight after each of those first two clearances.

Carter chose to perform the same celebration after his 72 break in the sixth frame. Robertson was more restrained as he completed his third and fourth ’steals’.

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