Shaun Murphy has set his sights on becoming snooker’s world number one and knocking Mark Selby off the top of the rankings.
Murphy is currently ranked fifth in the world, having never been higher than third during his 19-year pro career.
World and UK Champion Selby is streaks ahead on the current list and next week he’ll celebrate 100 consecutive weeks as world number one.
But Nottingham-based Murphy, a winner of six ranking titles including the 2005 World Championship, is determined to close the gap.
“I’ve never been to the top of the rankings. I’ve never been able to say that I am the best in the world,” said 34-year-old Murphy. “I think it would be a great thrill to see the title of world number one beside my name. That is something that gets me out of bed in the morning. I’d like to try to push Mark from his perch at the top.
“There haven’t been many world number ones in snooker bearing in mind how long the rankings have been running. It’s something I’m very keen to do. To prove that over a period of time you are the best in the world at your chosen sport would be a very special feeling. If I don’t ever achieve that it won’t be for a lack of trying.”
Murphy won the Masters in 2015
For now, Murphy is looking ahead to snooker’s most prestigious non-ranking event, the Dafabet Masters which runs from January 15 to 22 at Alexandra Palace in London. He plays his first match against Barry Hawkins on Wednesday January 18th at 7pm, in the elite-16 man invitation event.
Murphy lifted the Masters trophy for the first time two years ago by thrashing Neil Robertson 10-2 in the final, a result which saw him join the small group of players to have won the World, UK and Masters titles.
“To beat Neil Robertson any time is a very good result so to beat him so convincingly and dominate the final is something I’m extremely proud of,” he added. “To complete the Triple Crown was something I had been striving for – for a very long time. To get that monkey off my back set me up for the rest of my career to try to win as many titles as I can.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan will be defending his title at Alexandra Palace with the likes of Selby, Robertson, Judd Trump and John Higgins also competing for the £200,000 top prize.
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