Murphy seeks Belfast glory

20 November 2017 20:33:24 GMTPlus11

Shaun Murphy is hoping he can continue his rich vein of form at this week's Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

The world number five won his first title of the season earlier this month by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-8 in the final of the Champion of Champions.

O'Sullivan has since gone on to claim the 30th ranking title of his career by beating Judd Trump 10-3 in the final of the Shanghai Masters.

Murphy, who faces China's Chen Zifan in his opening match in Belfast on Monday, said: "Winning the Champion of Champions is up there with my career highlights. After the Triple Crown wins it's close behind.

"The Champion of Champions involves all of the tournament winners and the cream of the crop so to win it is very special."

The 35-year-old was not involved in Shanghai as he was knocked out in the qualifying rounds for the tournament, and he added: "I found myself twiddling my thumbs last week.

"But it could be a blessing in disguise because it has given me time to reflect on my victory and stay fresh for the UK Championship. Those who have played a lot of matches might find it catching up with them."

Murphy is 1212/1 to win the Northern Ireland Open while O'Sullivan can be backed at 1212/1, Trump at 1212/1 and Stephen Maguire at 1212/1.

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