Murphy 'considered retirement' during dreadful 2019
Shaun Murphy said that he had considered retirement from snooker during 2019 as he suffered through one of the worst seasons of his career.
Murphy failed to win a single title and reached only one final, the Scottish Open, and one semi-final, the Champion of Champions, as well as experiencing a succession of first-round defeats.
The 37-year-old has enjoyed a welcome upswing this year, reaching the final of the International Championship then going one better at the China Championship, narrowly beating Mark Williams 10-9 in a classic final.
"I've been playing well all season," he told Eurosport. "Somebody mentioned I'd had a bit of a dip but that's not how it felt to me. I ran into some superheroes playing great, but that's snooker. But I've been playing well all season and I'm very, very happy with things."
Murphy added that, this time last year, he would scarcely have believed such a recovery was possible in a such a sort period of time.
"I'd have called you a liar and said you needed to see a doctor," he said. "There were moments last season when I strongly contemplated my future in the game, let alone fixing things. And it was a good off-season chat with those closest to me who said 'you can either walk away or look yourself in mirror and do something about this.'"
Murphy faces Yan Bingtao in the semi-final of the Welsh masters on Saturday evening for the right to face Kyren Wilson in Sunday's final at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
The pair met in the Champion of Champions at Coventry's Ricoh Arena in 2015 when Bingtao was only 15, with Murphy falling to a shock defeat to the young starlet.
"I remember it was a very big moment for him," he said. "It was a big moment for both of us because until that moment I'd never con a match in Coventry. I couldn't buy a win. And I was playing this kid from China who was too young to wear the betting sponsor's logo.
"I had a bad day but he smashed me off the table. It's great to see these players coming through. We've been talking about the Chinese invasion of snooker for so long. I think nearly 25% of the tour might be Chinese now. It is coming and it is good for the game to see someone else break out as the flag bearer for the world."