Thursday 8 December 2016

Murphy made to wait but Hawkins' fate sealed

snooker

Published 02/05/2015 | 02:30

Shaun Murphy will be looking to secure his place in the World Championship final today
Shaun Murphy will be looking to secure his place in the World Championship final today

Shaun Murphy moved to the brink of a third World Championship final but must return to complete the job against Barry Hawkins today.

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The 2005 title winner and 2009 runner-up will resume in the afternoon with a 16-8 lead, with Hawkins spared the indignity of losing their semi-final contest with a session to spare after taking the last frame of the night.

Murphy began the evening leading 13-3, having made breaks of 73, 105, 79, 72, 121 and 54 in a spectacular morning performance, and needed just to share the spoils from their eight-frame session to take victory.

But when Hawkins made 76 to extend the best-of-33 match to a third day, he wore a broad smile across his face and waved to the crowd having eliminating the threat of a 17-3 defeat, which would have been the heaviest semi-final loss in tournament history. Stephen Hendry took a 17-4 pasting at the hands of Ronnie O'Sullivan at this stage 11 years ago.

The other semi-final is a far tighter affair with Stuart Bingham leading Judd Trump 9-7 ahead of their return this morning.

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