Had the draw worked out differently, Shaun Murphy v Ronnie O’Sullivan could have been the Betfred.com World Championship final but these two former champions are in fact meeting in the second round.

It is a tantalising clash of personalities. Both players are outspoken and attract almost as much comment for their opinions as their performances.

Each has played snooker regularly since boyhood and gone on to triumph at the Crucible.

While Murphy’s love of snooker has not wavered, O’Sullivan has of course struggled to retain his affection for the game amid the whirl of real life events.

But he appears to be in much better shape after consulting Dr Steve Peters, a psychiatrist, ahead of the tournament.

The key to the match could be the extent to which Murphy can put O’Sullivan under pressure. This will be the real test of his game as Dominic Dale failed to exert much in the first round.

Ali Carter couldn’t quite put Graeme Dott away yesterday, losing three successive black ball frames to trail 5-3 before producing a much better second session performance to lead 8-6.

True to form, though, battler Dott dug in to make it 8-8 and set up a fascinating final session this afternoon.

Judd Trump needs just two more frames to see off Martin Gould, who went for a risky double on the re-spotted black in their 13th frame.

In missing it and leaving it in the jaws, the match turned away from him and Trump eased away to 11-5.

Judd is clearly loving every minute of his Crucible experience. And why not? He does not have the baggage of many other players, or the mental scars accumulated over the years at Sheffield.

He is only 21 and so if he doesn’t win it this year there will be plenty more opportunities in the future. This makes him very dangerous and a live outsider for the title.

Mark Allen didn’t seem quite right against Barry Hawkins, who played solidly in claiming a 5-3 first session lead.

When Mark Selby played Stephen Hendry at the same stage last year the first session was close before Selby pulled away.

Logic dictates something similar will happen this year, although logic and snooker don’t always go together.


Anonymous said...

For the sake of the sport: may Murphy win, preferably with a session to spare.

Anonymous said...

10:45 wrong wrong wrong.

Talk to people who dont even watch the game, they ask is ronnie in it and did you hear what ronnie said in papers. You dont hear people saying the same about murphy.

Like it or not ronnie adds to snooker popularity. We still would have a fascinating game without him, just a little less exciting.

Murphy is the star we love to hate. He is a fantastic fantastic player. But he just cant grab many hearts. He might get popular in the twilight of his career when he becomes an underdog.

My 2 cents,
Dublin Fan.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

i dont like smurf much but i really hope he wins this match

Anonymous said...

Let's just hope for a century fest in this grudge match, preferably going the distance. Maximum anyone? And let's not forget about Hendry being in action tonight. If he goes on to beat Selby he will be the one stealing headlines.

Anonymous said...


Spot on! Great player Murpy,but there something a bit,I dont know, self righteous about him,that,as stated,puts people off.

Love him or hate him,Ronnie wears his heart on his sleeve.
he is a great,fluent,exciting,attacking player and this sport is all the better for him being in it.So there!!

Anonymous said...

3.00 needs some toilet paper for their mouth

Anonymous said...

Ronnie is the jewel in snookers crown. 90 percent of people love watching him. The other 10 percent have a fetish for slow dull boring players and slag off ronnie on blogs like this.
Long live king ronnie

wild said...

Here Here 5:49PM and what a stupid comment by 10:45AM why would you want any match to finish with a session to spare,spectators lose out how's that going to be good for the game?

Anonymous said...

Come on Shaun! And well done Graeme Dott, anyone who thinks he's boring is a muppet! The Dott-Trump match should be a fascinating clash.


Hi David. a great days play.

Trump through. O'sullivan Consistant in shots once in. Carter and Dott was a great game. Selby and hendy, great break-building from both, (Mainly Selby), and a few mistakes. The Allen and Hawkins game was Fantastic, Great, Superb.

Well done to all players in today's sessions.

Anonymous said...

World Snooker's report on ronnies session says he finished strongly with 76,75,86. If I didn;t see the game I might have thought ronnie played well.

Ronnies long pot success rate was 17%! I'm sure it will improve as we go on, but he's not a snowball chance in hell of the title with his long game today. Maby issue with the tip Dave?

Wasn't Murphy shaky though! Never seen him miss so many long ones. Good to see the tension in the arm out there sometimes!

C'mon Ron!!

Greg P said...

Somewhere in a Sheffield hotel, Stephen Hendry is being kept awake by the sound of a fat lady warming up her vocal cords.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Greg. It's a damned shame that Selby all of a sudden started firing in century upon century when the world needed for a weak and frustrated Selby to appear - along with a concentrated and ruthless Hendry.

My dream is being crushed and it honestly depresses me! I see zero chance of Hendry coming back with that horrifying scoreline but let's cross our fingers blah blah blah....

Come on Stephen, order a mafia man to 'examine' some knee caps!

Anonymous said...

not all players stay in hotels

Anonymous said...

who the hell is din john way ?

learn to say their names

its easy to keep your accent, but at least learn how they say their name and dont just say it how you like, denise

Anonymous said...

11:31 have you ever heard the trophy ceremonies at chinese tournaments? Now THAT is embarassing. So please wewax..sorry, relax.

Big Foot said...

Shaun Murphy is a snooker beast. I love the way he gets down on his shots. His facial expressions show such profound passion and determination for snooker. Looking at his body shape you can tell that Shaun is a true sportsman. He is a sincere gentleman which is the reason why his wife loves him, or loved... Unfortunately she doesn't like him as much anymore and even went to the extent of taunting him during matches along with her brothers. But anyway, Shaun Murphy is a true, idolic figure and a snooker legend who will be remembered for many years to come should his health be better.

Anonymous said...

544 thats just racist

Anonymous said...

5:44 Racist? They have big twouble pronouncing english names as we can have similar trouble dealing with chinese toung twisters. I'm pointing this out in response to the language snobbery of 11:31. Language is not a race thing, silly.

Anonymous said...

denise can say the names he continually makes errors with easily!

why he doesnt?

Betty Logan said...

They can't even get each other's names right half the time, as I'm sure Ken "Dough-erty", Martin "Gold" and "Jude" Trump will attest.