Shaun Murphy has already compiled a season to remember by adding his name to the exclusive list of snooker’s Triple Crown club, but the way the World Championship draw is panning out, it could yet finish in supreme style.
The Magician cruised through his opening-round match against Robin Hull and now faces veteran campaigner Joe Perry in the last 16.
Murphy is the strong 3/10 favourite to end Perry’s interests at the Crucible Theatre and the skinny odds are fully justified judging by the fact the 2005 world champion has defeated The Gentleman in four of four career meetings.
Should this match go with the form book, then Murphy has already landed a bonus as far as his quarter-final opponent is concerned.
When the draw was made, the current Masters champion will have fully expected to be facing another big gun, namely 16th seed Stephen Maguire, or more probably reigning champion Mark Selby in the last eight.
However, qualifier Anthony McGill had other ideas, ensuring he beat compatriot Maguire before sensationally sending Selby crashing out 13-9 in the second round.
Ironically, no one since Murphy himself a decade ago has come through the qualifiers to win the World Championships and for this reason alone, the number eight seed will be heavily fancied.
Should the Englishman avoid becoming McGill’s third big-name victim he’s already on a semi-final path that swerves either Judd Trump or big favourite Ronny O’Sullivan.
He could however face 2010 world champion and fellow Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson, but even then, Murphy has this season’s Masters final to draw immense confidence from.
The Magician pulled out all the tricks to thrash The Thunder 10-2 at Alexandra Palace. Murphy is currently a 13/2 shot to lift the trophy in Sheffield.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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