Shaun Murphy today ended a three year ranking title drought by lifting the 2014 World Open title after he held of a trademark Selby fightback to win a fascinating final 10-6
It has been a strange 18 months for Murphy,whose last ranking success came in the 2011 PTC Grand Finals,as he has been in many ways Mr consistent on tour,reaching many quarter & semi finals without ever really looking like winning a title.That changed last month when he finally won the Gdynia Open and success was surely the catalyst for what we saw here this week.
Into the match itself and it was Murphy who flew out of the blocks,taking the first four frames to open a 4-0 lead,Selby eventually got off the mark in the next and followed it up with a second frame to make it 4-2,before runs of 98,105 & 112 moved Murphy into a commanding 7-2 lead at the ed of the session.
Murphy was now a strong favourite,but if we have learned anything from Selby by now,it is that he never gives up until the last ball is potted. and so it proved here again as the Leicsterman began the evening session with a 78 an followed with the next two to make it 7-5.The pressure was now on Murphy but he managed to take a vital 14th frame to extend his lead to 8-5.
Selby again narrowed the gap to two in the next making it 8-6,He looked set fair to narrow it to one in the next before running out of position.and Murphy pounced wit a nerveless 78 to go to the brink at 9-6. The end came in the next to give Murphy the title 10-6.
As I said in my semi final round up,this was a match between two men who will feel they haven't won the tournaments that they should have by this stage in their careers,This will though provide Murphy with a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and he is the type of player,when playing with confidence that is a very dangerous opponent for anyone.