In an interview with Eurosport at the Scottish Open, Shaun Murphy has opened up about feeling "terrible" with persistent pain and injuries.
Murphy narrowly avoided a second consecutive first-round exit as he fought back to beat three-time women's world champion Ng On-Yee 4-3 in Llandudno.
Having been beaten by amateur Si Jiahui in the opening round of the UK Championship in November, Murphy appeared in danger of befalling a similar fate against an impressive Ng, falling 3-1 behind again.
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The 39-year-old eventually came through with a brilliant break of 130 to clinch the match and afterwards revealed to Eurosport the extent of the pain he has been battling in recent months.
"I've been feeling terrible," Murphy told Eurosport.
"A lot has been said about the last few weeks. I've had a big neck injury, a big neck and back injury.
It cost me my match at the English [Open]; it cost me my match at the Champion of Champions; it did not help at the UK Championship.
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"What it has also meant is that I have not been able to practise at all. I've not been able to train.
"The game is about touch and feel, and I've not been putting the hours in practising. You just lose it, and I was all at sea. I'm over the moon I finished the job [against Ng].
"Experience plays a big part, and I've been on the tour for a long time. You have to be patient."
Speaking about the state of women's snooker after beating Ng, Murphy added: "I think it is the strongest it has ever been.
"The state of the women's game is as good as it has ever been. I think they are a great addition to the tour.
"I hope that more young women around the world see the flag bearers and follow their footsteps to the tour."
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