Following a disappointing performance at the Welsh Open, losing to Robert Milkins in the final, Shaun Murphy refinds his form to beat Ali Carter 10-4, winning the coveted Players Championship in Wolverhampton.
The former world champion, Shaun Murphy emerged victorious after maintaining control throughout a hard-fought match, putting to rest concerns that he was losing his touch after his disastrous final at the Welsh Open.
Having led 6-2 from the afternoon session, Shaun Murphy finished the match in style to secure a solid 10-4 victory and secure his first ranking event title since 2020. Not only did Shuan Murphy win the top prize of £125,000 but he also set a new record for the most century breaks made at the tournament, tallying an impressive 11 centuries in total.
Speaking after the match, Murphy expressed his delight at the win, saying, “Not just win but to play like that, I am going to put that down as one of my biggest achievements in my career. I am really going to take that like a feather in the cap.”
Ever modest, the 40-year-old winner went on to talk about the tough challenges he had faced in recent seasons and credited his personal support network and fans for helping him through the difficult times. “There have been a lot of honest conversations in front of mirrors and a lot of soul searching, but I am very lucky to have some great support, with friends and family back home,” he added.
Murphy started the match strongly, surging into a 3-0 lead, which included a massive break of 145. But Carter hit back with a break of 122 before the pair shared the next two frames, leaving the score at 4-1. Murphy then opened up a 4-frame lead with an eye-watering break of 141 followed by yet another century break of 112, taking his total to 9 centuries for the tournament, surpassing John Higgins’ previous record of 8 centuries.
During the evening session, Murphy continued to dominate, comfortably winning the 9th frame before making his fourth century break of the final to go 8-2 up in the match. A beleaguered Carter, who was looking to make it two ranking titles in a season for the first time in his career after winning the German Masters last month, fought back bravely and took the next two frames.
However, Murphy reasserted his dominance to take the final two frames, including an elegant 88 clearance in the penultimate frame after being allowed back in by sloppy play from Carter. Murphy then sealed the victory with one last century break of 130 to win his 10th ranking event title.
Carter was humble in defeat, saying, “Shaun played great, and he has played the best all week. When he is on form, we have seen tonight what happens and it is unbelievable he hasn’t won for three years. But it has been a great month for me winning the German Masters and getting to the final of this is massive also.”
Overall, it was a well-deserved win for Murphy, who has been in impressive form throughout the tournament. With this victory, he will no doubt be looking to build on this success and continue his strong performances in the upcoming events. Murphy’s performance in Wolverhampton put any doubts about his nerves after the Welsh Open to rest, as he not only secured his 10th title event but also smashed the record for the most centuries at the tournament.
Overall, Shaun Murphy looks to be a real threat in upcoming competitions as his season really begins to pick up some serious momentum.