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Shaun Murphy stuns Ding Junhui with fightback victory at the Masters

Shaun Murphy  during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire. Shaun Murphy during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
7:01 PM

Former world champion Shaun Murphy produced a stunning comeback from 4-2 down on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters with a 6-4 victory over China’s Ding Junhui in London.

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Ding Junhui  during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.Ding Junhui during the 2014 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire.

Murphy, runner-up here two years ago, will play 2011 runner-up Marco Fu in the last eight, the Hong Kong man having beaten Judd Trump 6-5 in the first round on Monday.

There was a delayed start to proceedings at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday after the arena was plunged into darkness by a power-cut.

When play belatedly got under way at 1420 - 80 minutes late - Ding made a flying start and soon found himself 2-0 up thanks to breaks of 99 and 84.

Murphy fought back, though, and knocks of 71 and 64 got him back on level terms at the interval.

In a topsy-turvy encounter, Ding swiftly regained his two-frame lead but then missed a couple of relatively straightforward pots for 5-2, and instead a break of 56 from Murphy allowed the Englishman to close to 4-3.

Ding’s composure had gone and he looked a defeated man. He was still ahead, but Murphy had the bit between his teeth.

The Chinese player could have re-established his two-frame cushion in frame eight but missed a late red with the rest and a 46 clearance from Murphy made it all square at 4-4.

The 2005 world champion went ahead for the first time in the match by edging frame nine, capitalising when Ding was unable to gain position on the yellow, and never looked likely to relinquish the upper hand, sealing an impressive 6-4 triumph.

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