Shaun Murphy (snooker player)


Shaun Murphy (snooker player)

Infobox Snooker player
Name = Shaun Murphy


Caption =
Born = birth date and age|1982|8|10
Birthplace = Harlow, England
Nationality = flagicon|England English
Nickname = The Whiston Warrior The Devil's Haircut
Professional = 1998–
High ranking = #3 (07/08 and 08/09)
Current rank = #3
Prize money = UK£793,087
High break = 147 (2001 Benson & Hedges Championship)
Ranking wins = 2
Other wins = 2
World champ = 2005

Shaun Murphy (born August 10, 1982 in Harlow, England) is an English professional snooker player and the 2005 World Snooker Champion. Murphy is noted for his widely acclaimed cue action and his consistent long potting. He is also part of a small group of players that can play with their left hand as well as their right. For the 2007-2008 season, Murphy was ranked at number three, his highest ever, and he retained this for the next season.

Early career

Murphy began playing snooker at the age of 8 when he was given a snooker cue that his father had bought from a jumble sale. He soon joined a club and practised heavily, making his first century break by the age of 10. At the age of 13, he gave an interview to the BBC, stating his ambitions of winning the World Championship and becoming world number one. Aged 13 he had already secured a £5,000-a-year sponsorship deal. He turned professional at 15.

In 2000, he was awarded World Snooker Newcomer of the Year and Young Player of Distinction of the Year, [" [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/sport.cfm?id=477242005 Murphy: Now for the No1 spot] ", "The Scotsman", 4 May, 2005. Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.] but his progress was gradual until his World Championship victory. In the same year, he won the Amateur English Open and the Benson & Hedges Championship, and made a maximum break in the next year's Benson & Hedges tournament. He reached the semi-finals of the British Open in 2004, his first run past the last 16 of a ranking event. He reached the Crucible in 2002 and 2003, losing 10-9 to Ken Doherty on the final black in the latter [http://www.thesnookerforum.com/board/showthread.php?t=6809] , and lost a qualifying match to Stuart Pettman in 2004.

2005 World Championship

During the 2005 tournament, he beat former world champions John Higgins (13-8), Steve Davis (13-4), Peter Ebdon (17-12), and finalist Matthew Stevens (18-16) to win the World Championship." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/4507087.stm Murphy's rise to the world summit] ", BBC Sport, 3 May, 2005. For the interview, see the link named "Interview: Thirteen-year-old Shaun Murphy on his aspirations for his career in snooker". Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.] His run echoed the first championship win of his childhood idol Davis, who also beat three world champions (Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn and Terry Griffiths) to reach the final.

The tournament doubled his previous career prize money and his run to the final earned him the nickname "Magician". He purchased a Mercedes-Benz E-Class and a house with the proceeds of his win.cite web| url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,28910-2135111,00.html |title=Murphy seeks win and a prayer after taking cue from his faith |publisher="The Times", 15 April, 2006 |accessyear=2007 |accessmonthday=December 22]

At the age of 22, Murphy became the second youngest player ever to win the World Championship, following Stephen Hendry who first lifted the title when he was 21. He also became only the second-ever qualifier to win the World Championship, the other being Terry Griffiths in 1979.

Murphy began the 2005 World Championship ranked number 48 in the world rankings and with the odds of 150-1. He had to play two qualifying matches to reach the final stages. No previous world champion had played that many matches (seven in total) to lift the title.

Post-title career

He was ranked number 21 after his title win, which made him the first world champion to start the new season outside of the top 16. However, he qualified automatically for every tournament in the season as the number two seed (and number one seed for the 2006 World Championship). In the first three events of the season he reached the last 16, losing deciding-frame matches to Stuart Bingham, Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott respectively." [http://www.ananova.com/sport/story/sm_1743713.html?keywords=Gridiron&menu=sport.gridiron Murphy Edges Through] " Ananova. Retrieved on 18 February, 2008.] He was more successful at the Welsh Open, reaching the final before losing to Stephen Lee. In the 2006 World Championship, he fell victim to the "Crucible Curse" (no first-time champion ever successfully defending the title at the Crucible) when he was defeated in the quarter-finals 13-7 by Peter Ebdon, after victories over James Wattana and Steve Davis. His overall performances over the previous two seasons moved him up to number five in the world rankings. He spent some of the following summer doing work for a Christian charity group in Zimbabwe with his wife." [http://www.worldsnooker.com/player_list-7944.htm Player Profile - Shaun Murphy] ", World Snooker. Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.]

After 22 months without a title, Murphy won the 2007 Malta Cup in February 2007, defeating Welshman Ryan Day by 9 frames to 4 in the final. In his very next match, against Jamie Cope in the Welsh Open, he scored centuries in four consecutive frames, becoming only the second player ever to do this (after John Higgins in the 2005 Grand Prix final) and the only person to do so in a best-of-nine match. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/6363307.stm Magic Murphy sets century record] ", BBC Sport, 14 February, 2007.] Murphy reached the semi-finals of the 2007 World Championship after a 13-12 victory over Matthew Stevens in the quarter-finals. Murphy came from 11-5 and 12-7 down to defeat Stevens, knocking the latter out of the top 16 in doing so. [" [http://www.worldsnooker.com/tournament_news(id18688)-61.htm Stevens hit for six as Murphy Prevails] ". WorldSnooker.com - Tournament News, 2 May, 2007.] However, he lost to Mark Selby in the semi-finals in another deciding frame. He ended the season ranked number three, his highest ever ranking.

In the 2007 Grand Prix, he won four out of five matches in his group, only losing out to Marco Fu, before defeating Ryan Day and Peter Ebdon to reach the semi-finals, where he lost 6-5 to Ronnie O'Sullivan, despite being 2-5 up at one point. He reached the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Trophy and the UK Championship, making it three consecutive semi-final appearances and four of the last five. Before the UK Championship, he was provisionally ranked number one.

Murphy successfully defended his Malta Cup title in 2008, defeating Irishman Ken Doherty 9-3 in the final (the 2008 event, however, was not a ranking event).

He has reached the final of Pot Black twice, losing to Matthew Stevens in 2005 and Ken Doherty in 2007.

Murphy has a rivalry with Stephen Maguire, another member of the 2000 Young Players of Distinction. In a 2004 Grand Prix match, Murphy was involved in having one of Maguire's frames forfeited. As the match was about to begin, Maguire realised he had forgotten to bring his chalk with him. He asked referee Johan Oomen for permission to leave the arena. [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/3714886.stm Williams crashes out] ", BBC Sport, 4 October, 2004. Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.] While Maguire was away, Murphy spoke to the referee; the tournament director Mike Ganley was summoned and he docked Maguire a frame for not being ready to start at the scheduled time." [http://www.sportinglife.com/snooker/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=snooker/07/02/17/SNOOKER_Welsh_Higginson.html Higginson Revelling in Spotlight] ", "Sporting Life", 17 February, 2007. Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.] Maguire later won the match 5-2. After beating Murphy in the 2007 Welsh Open, Maguire said of the incident, "That put the icing on the cake, but we've always had a rivalry. I dislike him and I think he dislikes me. I try hard to beat everyone, but it would have hurt more if I'd lost to him." Before their 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy semi-final clash, Murphy commented that the media had exaggerated the rift, commenting that "It might add spice for you (the media), but I said hello to Stephen in the practice room this morning. He's a fantastic player and I've got great respect for him. I'm willing to get on with him and if there's a problem it's not at my end".cite web |url=http://www.worldsnooker.com/tournament_news(id19015)-89.htm |title=Murphy and Maguire to clash in semis |publisher=World Snooker, 9 November, 2007 |accessyear=2007 |accessmonthday=22 December] They played each other again at the next tournament, the UK Championship, once more at the semi-final stage, which Maguire won as well. And in the final of the 2008 China Open Maguire defeated him once again, but this time only in a final frame decider: 10-9. At the 2008 World Championship he lost heavily to Ali Carter in the second round. On the five occasions Murphy has been defeated at the Crucible Theatre, his conqueror has always gone on to lose the World Championship final.

He has made a sluggish start to 2008/2009 Snooker Season, losing in the first round of the first two events.

Murphy was coached by Steve Prest, who helped Murphy perfect his cue action and develop the tactical side of his game. Murphy was coached early on in his career by Joe Johnson, another surprise winner of the World Championship. He has also received tactical guidance from Ray Reardon.

Tournament wins

Ranking wins

* World Snooker Championship2005
* Malta Cup2007

Other wins

* Benson & Hedges Championship – 2000
* Malta Cup – 2008

Personal life

Murphy was born in Harlow, but lives in Rotherham with his wife Clare, whom he met on an online Christian chat room. [" [http://www.biogs.com/famous/murphyshaun.html Shaun Murphy] ", Biogs. Retrieved on 24 February, 2007.] He is a devout Christian and prays in his dressing room before every match. Murphy is a keen piano player and single-figure handicap golfer.cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/snooker/4508509.stm |title=Shaun Murphy - Did you know...?|accessmonthday=May 5 |accessyear=2007 |publisher=BBC Sports, 3 May, 2005]

During the 2007 World Championship it was reported in some newspapers [cite web |url=http://www.sheffieldtoday.net/news?articleid=2845456 |title=Champ's anguish at rift with dad|accessmonthday=May 5 |accessyear=2007 |publisher="Sheffield Star", 2 May, 2007] cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/snooker/6611839.stm |title=Murphy fightback shocks Stevens |accessmonthday=May 5 |accessyear=2007 |publisher=BBC Sports, 2 May, 2007] that he had developed a rift with his father, Tony, who is a member of the World Snooker board. He revealed that this happened 18 months earlier and that they had not spoken since. He did, however, state on BBC snooker coverage that he would happily speak to his father again if he was called.

References

External links

* [http://www.shaun-murphy.co.uk/ Shaun Murphy's official website]
* [http://www.globalsnookercentre.co.uk/files/Players/Global_Europe/Global_England/eng_shaun_murphy.htm Profile at the European Billiards & Snooker Association]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/snooker/world_snooker_2005/default.stm BBC 2005 World Snooker Championship coverage]
* " [http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/life/snooker_champion_shares_his_faith/17590/p1/ Snooker Champion Shares His Faith] ", Cross Rhythms, December 1, 2005


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