Neil Robertson to face Shaun Murphy in Snooker Masters final
The 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson will face Shaun Murphy in this year’s Masters final after winning 6-3 in the semi-final against Judd Trump. Murphy, who won the World Championship in 2005, beat John Higgins 6-4 in order to set a snooker meeting with the Australian player.
Robertson took revenge after losing the opening match of last year’s World Championship to Trump (back when he was the defending champion) and beat him by 6-3.
The battle of cues was opened with Robertson taking the first two frames with a top break of 100, to which Trump responded with a 76 to cash the next one. Still, at the interval, the Australian was leading 3-1 after hitting 89 in the process.
Returning into the arena, the player we all know under the nickname of The Thunder from Down Under extended his lead at 5-1 after winning some pretty scrappy affairs.
Trump tried a comeback by hitting in runs of 35 and 95, thus the scoreline turning into 5-3, but when left with a chance to reduce the gap even more the Bristol boy missed an incredible blue early in the frame.
Robertson retuned to the table for a 69 that sealed a 6-3 victory and his route into the final.
The second semi-final of the day saw the current world champion John Higgins taking on Shaun Murphy in a match that was close to see all its frames being consumed. However, a missed pink by Higgins in frame 10 was freezing the scoreline at 6-4 in favour of Murphy.
The Magician Murphy put his cue into action from the very first frame and practically flew all the way to leading his opponent 3-0, by firing in breaks of 86, 101 and 69.
Just before the mid-session interval Higgins cashed his first frame of the match, the scoreline being now 3-1.
After the break, the Scotsman that has no less than four world championship titles in his bag, won another frame by using a series of 34 and 24, but Murphy was careful enough to respond with a great 122 and reinstall the “two points lead”, 4-2.
Frame seven saw Higgins hitting a 59 break to reduce the gap between him and his opponent at just one point, but as before the Englishman once again used another century break of 109 (his third of the match) to go just one frame away from victory.
One last attempt to get closer to forcing a decider was made by Higgins after collecting 72 consecutive points off the table, but it was not enough.
During the next frame, after Murphy stopped his break at 55, Higgins found a way to get amongst the balls. A very tricky but also crucial pink was left very close to the left cushion for Higgins to pot, but he missed it.
With a perfect position to send the ball down into the green pocket, Murphy returned to the table and closed the deal at 6-4.
The grand final is taking place this Sunday at London’s Alexandra Palace, both Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy being at their first appearance in a Masters final.
The match will be played under the “best of 19” rule, in two sessions, fist to start at 2pm and the last at 8pm.