Shaun Murphy Blog – ‘The UK is a great event’
SHAUN Murphy will get his 2011 WilliamHill.com UK Championship campaign underway on Sunday night when he’ll face China’s Li Yan.
Shaun has been putting the hours in on the practice table ahead of the tournament, which this year returns to the Barbican Centre in York.
It is an event that Murphy has already won once before in 2008 and he would dearly love to add his name to the trophy for a second time.
The Magician said: “The UK Championship is absolutely massive – it’s the second biggest tournament of our year.
“This year it’s also the first one of the season to be shown on the BBC, so I think there is even more emphasis on it.
“It is a great tournament with a great history and I can’t wait to get going. It seems like I’ve been getting ready for it for a few months.”
Murphy has been doing everything in his power recently to make sure he comes into this key part of the season in top form.
He outlined: “I’ve made some big changes to my life: I’ve been a on a strict diet and also not been drinking for two months.
“I’ve made some massive changes to practice routines, just getting prepared for this tournament and I can’t wait to get there and see what happens.
“The Barbican is a great venue, although I’m not convinced that I’ve won that many matches there. But I actually only played there a couple of times before the tournament was switched to Telford.”
Murphy has plenty of respect for his first-round opponent Li Yan, a teenager who fought through three rounds of qualifiers.
Shaun said: “Having won his matches to get to York shows that he is more than capable – especially beating Fergal O’Brien in the final qualifier. He is an exciting prospect.”