Murphy beats Perry to reach Masters last four

Shaun Murphy won the Masters in 2015 and lost in the final in 2012
2020 Dafabet Masters on the BBC
Dates: 12-19 January Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Former Masters champion Shaun Murphy reached the semi-finals for the first time in five years with a comfortable 6-3 victory over Joe Perry.

Murphy, winner in 2015, struggled last season but has been close to his best this term, winning the China Championship in September.

He was in high-scoring form against Perry, making breaks of 51, 60, 66 and 120 to progress at Alexandra Palace.

Murphy, 37, will face Scotland’s John Higgins or England’s Ali Carter next.

After four frames, Murphy held a 3-1 lead and although Perry had a chance to hit back for 4-3 his break ended on 50.

That left 2005 world champion Murphy to clear the table before snatching the next frame to secure victory.

“That was tough. Joe was so unlucky so many times, and but for that the match would’ve been a lot closer,” said Murphy.

“I got up today and it was Masters quarter-final day. Deep down I’m still the 11/12-year-old that went to the [Wembley] Conference Centre dreaming of playing in it.

“It was a big match for me and I not been in this situation for five years, but I would just like to be a little bit more clinical.

“Technically I’m a better player than I was five years ago, but I scored heavier then and I’ve only had one century break. If I could just up the scoring a bit I would be happy.”

The first round saw a number of high-profile casualties, including defending champion Judd Trump, UK Championship winner Ding Junhui, three-time world champion Mark Selby and Australia’s Neil Robertson, while Ronnie O’Sullivan did not enter the tournament.

Perry, 45, who beat Ding 6-3 in his first-round match, was unhappy with his performance against Murphy and said: “There were simple shots I was messing up and I didn’t get into any rhythm as I was chasing the cue ball around the table.

“They say the balls don’t forgive you, I didn’t miss lots but played a lot of bad shots, couldn’t control the cue ball and found myself the wrong side of the balls and it snowballed out of control.

“It was not a great day at the office, but onwards and upwards.”

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