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