Shaun Murphy crushes Ryan Day to advance to the Players Championship semi-final
The Magician opened with a break of 104, which he then followed up with 107 and 105 to leave Welshman Day facing an uphill battle. Murphy, runner-up to Robert Milkins in last week's Welsh Open final, was on course for another century in the fourth frame, only to miss a red when well set on 85. After claiming the fifth frame 75-30, Murphy saved his best for last with a magnificent 133 - which included a superb doubled green into the middle pocket - to keep himself on course for the £10,000 highest break prize. Murphy, who hit a 145 followed by a maximum 147 during his run at the Welsh Open, told ITV4: "It was amazing. It was one of those nights where it all came together. "I have had a couple of those matches go against me this season, so I know how Ryan feels. "I know my game is in a good place, I am hitting the ball really well, but my overriding feeling is just being grateful for it. "It has been a barren couple of seasons. I was not even in this event last year and was sat at home watching it, so I am thankful to be here for the opportunity." Earlier at the Aldersley Arena, Joe O'Connor continued his impressive run when edging out Belgian Luca Brecel 6-5. Having knocked out world number three Mark Allen, the top seed, on Monday, O'Connor fought back against Brecel with a clearance of 125 to set up a last-frame decider, which he clinched with another half-century break. O'Connor, who was runner-up at the Scottish Open in December, will go on to play Ali Carter in the semi-final. "It was a good battle with Luca," former pool player O'Connor said on the World Snooker Tour website. "You have to keep it tight against him and not give him chances to get in.
"The run at the Scottish Open has reassured my confidence. It is just believing in myself a little bit more. "When I am in and around the balls, making breaks, I can second-guess myself a bit. That has gone out of the window a bit and I can freeflow a bit more."
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