As a boy, Shaun Murphy's twin ambitions were to be world champion and world no.1

Two years ago, he achieved the first; in the latest provisional ranking list he is up to no.1 so well on his way to achieving the second.

The rankings don't lie. Of the seven ranking events staged so far in 2007, Murphy has won 1, been in the semi-finals of 3 and the quarter-finals of another 2.

This record of consistency suggests Murphy will be hard to shift when the rankings receive their annual revision after the 888.com World Championship next May.

To me, Murphy is the only top player around who exhibits similar characteristics to Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, in terms of his will to win and work ethic.

John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams are three of the greatest players of all time but did not - and still do not - have the drive of Davis and Hendry.

Players can become too comfortable and take their foot off the gas. Davis and Hendry would always forget about a tournament they had just won to concentrate on the next one.

Murphy seems to be cut from the same cloth and I feel he has more than one Crucible triumph to come.

He isn't to everyone's taste. The well publicised 'chalk-gate' incident with Stephen Maguire at the 2004 Grand Prix hardly endeared him to many.

Some dislike his religion, but this is just prejudice plain and simple.

And let's not forget how unpopular Davis and Hendry were with some people in their pomp.

Is this the age of Murphy? It's too early to say.

But at 25 he has time on his side and the world at his feet.


Anonymous said...

Spot on with this article Dave.
Although he still plays too many wild shots he has matured both as a player and person rather well since his WC victory.
It's only a matter of time before he gets to number 1 and wins another WC.
Did he sort out his problems with his father?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there another incident similar to chalk-gate involving a respotted black?

Anonymous said...

The only similarities between Murphy and Hendry/Davis is that he is the current hate figure. Cannot stand him.

Anonymous said...

What did the last person gain by posting what he did?
It's sad that this blog is being spoilt by gutless(be man enough to give your name)morons.
I can understand why Murphy has his enemies(the Maguire incident was disgraceful)but he has conducted himself well since winning the world title.
He speaks his mind but does so in a respectful manner(it took guts to criticise O'Sullivan when he did.)
I doubt he'll ever win over these people but I'm sure he'll stay focussed long enough to win many more titles.The number one ranking will come sooner rather than later.
Perhaps he should apologise for the Maguire incident(I don't believe he ever has)and maybe then people will judge him solely as a snooker player?
Des James

CJW said...

Des,you are right. My only consolation is that these people (who are so proud to love whomever they love and hate whomever they hate) love & hate with equally silly fanaticism. Sad display of primitive emotionality.

Anonymous said...

I think Murphy's a great player and a nice guy. What was the chalk-gate incident I can't remember that one?


CJW said...

2004 Grand Prix, Round 1: Stephen Maguire had left his chalk in the dressing-room and, strictly speaking, was not ready to play at the appointed start time. As soon as the Scot left the arena (having been given permission to do so by Johan Oomen), then No 48 Murphy queried whether his opponent should be forced to forfeit the frame. The tournament director was called and confirmed that, according to the letter of the law, Maguire should be docked a frame. And he was... but won the game 5-2.