He may lack consistency at times, but there are few players that can live with Shaun Murphy when he is in top form. The 40-year old certainly has a flare for the dramatic, often pulling off shots that other players wouldn't even consider attempting.
Yesterday provided a prime example.
Murphy was taking on Pang Junxu in the semi-final of the Welsh Open, hoping to reach his first ranking final since 2021. He would emerge victorious in the end, defeating the Chinese player on a 6-3 scoreline to book his place in the decider.
It was a good performance from the Englishman, with one moment in particular standing out.
In the first frame, Murphy was tasked with a very difficult shot. With only one red remaining on the table, he found himself snookered behind the black. While the red was hovering over the middle pocket, there was no obvious route to meeting it with the cue ball.
What followed was a frankly ridiculous piece of play, where Murphy bounced the cue ball off the corner pocket, sending it to the other end of the table before bouncing it off the cushion and potting the red.
Sit back and enjoy this one.
"That was pretty good, wasn't it?" 😂
Shaun Murphy needed some ✨𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘✨ to pull off this pot 🤩@Magician147 | #HomeNations pic.twitter.com/G8fyXmJARr
— Eurosport (@eurosport) February 18, 2023
He would actually go on to lose this frame, although he would later come back to win the match. Speaking to Eurosport afterwards, he said he was delighted to be competing at the business end of ranking tournaments again.
I have been on a bleak run in the last couple of seasons so I am over the moon to be back in another final. We spend a lot of time away from our kids and families but we never give up and I have been working very hard on my game.
This has been coming all season, I have been playing well. In the club I have been grafting, working on my weaknesses and watching my matches back to see where things have gone wrong. I feel I may have turned a corner.
One of the sports great entertainers, it is good to see him back in form once again.