Robertson Outscores Highfield To Reach Last 32

Murphy Surges Ahead Of Hawkins

Shaun Murphy

Murphy has won three titles this season

A fast start from Shaun Murphy has given him a 6-2 lead after the first session of his Betfred World Championship semi-final against Barry Hawkins.

Murphy is in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009, when he lost to John Higgins in the final, and the world number eight is dreaming of a repeat of his 2005 title triumph.

The Nottingham-based potter looked sharp and confident at the Crucible as he build a four-frame advantage against fifth seed Hawkins, who came through a late night quarter-final battle against Neil Robertson last night by a 13-12 scoreline

Murphy took the opening frame with a break of 92, then made a 40 clearance to steal the second after Hawkins had broken down on 63. A scrappy third frame went to Murphy and it would have been 4-0 if he hadn’t gone in-off when potting the final black before the mid-session interval.

Shrugging off that error, Murphy won two of the next three frames with superb centuries, 105 and 138, sandwiching a run of 69 from Hawkins which gave him frame seven. Kent-based Hawkins, who is playing in the semi-finals for the third year in a row, led 51-0 in the last of the session, but Masters champion Murphy made an excellent 79 clearance to extend his lead.

They return tomorrow at 10am for eight more frames.

Barry Hawkins

Hawkins had a wardrobe malfunction and needed his bow tie fixed by referee Jan Verhaas