Shaun Murphy Blog – Crondon win sets up Masters’ bid
IT’S The Masters next week and I can’t wait to get there after four good days at Crondon Park. It was very nice to win Group 2 yesterday and the Championship League has given me a great preparation for Ally Pally.
I will certainly go there pleased with the state of my game, knowing that it’s in good shape. It’s easy to get over-bullish but my results suggest that I am playing well and I’ve been practising hard again today.
That said, snooker form can be so up and down – there’s nothing to say that I will play as well next week as I have done this.
But what was encouraging at Crondon was that what I’ve been working on in my practice for the last three months started to come out in my matches.
In the last few years, I’ve almost been trying not to lose – ‘safety first, take what you can and don’t leave the balls open’. Such a style of play got me to the final of the Worlds in 2009.
But I decided three months ago that I was going to try and attack the game. That’s the way the game is played now if you look at players like Judd Trump and Mark Allen – attack first and then go on the defensive if you need to.
Anyway, let’s see what happens in The Masters. Of the major events in our calendar, the tournament is the one which I have the worst record of all in. I’ve never reached the semi-finals.
In the past it’s been at Wembley (the Conference Centre and then the Arena), but this year it’s being staged at the Alexandra Palace for the first time ever. So, I’m hoping that a change of venue might be the thing I need to bring me a change of luck.
I certainly think Ally Pally is a fantastic venue – I went there last year for the darts and it was great.
My first round game is on Monday night against Martin Gould and, I’m under no illusions, he is a very dangerous opponent. You just don’t know what you are going to get from him – he is one of those who can pot them off the lampshades some days.
His victory in the Power Snooker also seems to have given him a massive boost in terms of confidence. He thinks he can go out and win every match he plays, so I know he will be a very tough opponent. I’ll have to play very well indeed to keep him at bay. But I’ll be giving it 100 per cent, as I do every time that I pick up my cue.
Our season is full on from now on until the end of the World Championship, so it is time to get back on the bike and really go for it.