Shaun Murphy Blog – Murphy expecting another tough task
SHAUN Murphy is expecting a tough encounter when he lines up against Martin Gould in the second round of the WilliamHill.com UK Championship this lunchtime.
The Manchester-based player booked his spot with a hard-fought 6-3 triumph over the exciting Chinese prospect Li Yan.
Shaun said: “I will have to play at least as well, if not a touch better, against Martin than I did in the first round.
“He was on the next table (beating Peter Lines) the other night and, with their being no dividing screen, I couldn’t help but notice that he finished with two good breaks, including a century, so he is obviously playing well.
“He has gone from strength to stength since just losing that last-16 match against eventual champion Neil Robertson at the 2010 World Championship.
“Last month he won the Power Snooker and while everyone has different views on that tournament, it still had the best players in the world playing it. So, with the UK having a shorter format this year, he will fancy his chances.”
Reflecting on his battling Sunday night success against the teenager Li Yan, Murphy added: “I was pleased to win as the match was a potential banana skin.”
Shaun rattled in an early 66 to grab the opener but didn’t get it all his own way, dropping 2-1 behind before going into the interval all square.
A run of 89 helped him to establish a 4-2 before Li Yan kept the game very much in the balance by winning the seventh. But Shaun’s experience helped restore a two-frame advantage in the next ahead of him closing out the match.
The Magician added: “Li Yan didn’t play like it was his first time at a venue or first time in front of BBc cameras. He played with a lot of confidence.”
Shaun’s second-round encounter with Gould gets underway at the Barbican at 12.30 on Wednesday.