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Shaun Murphy beats Mark Williams 6-4!

WEe'd earned a decider but that was a great clearance to clinch a great match and complete a great performance. Murphy plays Bingham next, and of course we'll have that for you.
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Murphy 5-4 Williams (51-64)

Here we go; Shaun gets himself in behind the pink ...and pokes it nicely. He's got a black to clip....

Murphy 5-4 Williams (51-58)

Mark runs out of position slightly, so he ponders plant, diagonally into the top left. It's not easy - there's a bit of space between the balls and if he misses he's going home - but he sticks it home. Brilliant. But then he misses the next red! It's a difficult one and he gets so close - so close it stays over the pocket. The two last reds are near the cushion, but he's got an angle to get onto the first ... and he does. He needs everything that's left, but it's only the pink, close to the opposite side, that's difficult.

Murphy 5-4 Williams (17-30)

No he won't! He misses the next red and Mark is there, getting to six before eyeing up a red to the yellow pocket. If he misses it might be curtains, so he eschews and goes up to baulk, but it's still Shaun who gets the next chance. I think he's 10/11 on long reds, but he misses this one by decades and loses the white as a consequence. Again, there's work for Mark to do but you'd rather be the one doing it than the one watching it being done.

Murphy 5-4 Williams (17-0)

Sick of leaving straight reds off the break - well, sick of Shaun sinking them - Mark plays off the black cushion and into the pack! And it works too, because Shaun makes he first error, missing a pot all over the show, but he doesn't leave much. And indeed it's Shaun who gets the next shy at the tale, pouncing when Mark rattles a red. There's a lot of work to be done, and given there reds are clustered, some of it might need the middle pockets. But his first split only releases a few, for which he'll use corners.

Murphy 5-4 Williams

A run of 81 and Shaun does to Mark a little of what's been done to him.

Murphy 4-4 Williams (59-16)

Shaun's played really well tonight - he's dominated really, just missed silly balls. I've still not a clue what will happen from here, but Mark hasn't been in front all night.

Murphy 4-4 Williams (30-16)

Yeah, about that stuff I said there, Shaun gets in next and quickly turns a chance into a great chance. There's work to do because the reds are open but gathered in fairly limited space, but you'd take it (if you were an all-time great snooker player)

Murphy 4-4 Williams (0-16)

A bout of safety opens frame nine, and Mark wins it by getting in first. He can make nothing of it, but is soon back again, and though he adds only seven more points, he leaves Shaun behind the green and close to the baulk cushion. He's probably better than Shaun at the tactical stuff and not as good a potter - though there's not much in either - so this kind of match probably suits him better.

Murphy 4-4 Williams

A nerveless 47 brings us back level. Best of three to see who plays Stuart Bingham.

Murphy 4-3 Williams (10-59)

Shaun will feel like he should be home already, but he's going to be playing a best of three. Mark has been so composed under pressure - it's generally been Shaun getting in first.

Murphy 4-3 Williams (10-37)

This game. Well though Murphy's played tonight, he's found the middle pockets teasing him, and he misses a pink into one fo them; that's going to sting, because Mark is easing through a telling contribution as I type.

Murphy 4-3 Williams (9-22)

Oh my days, Murphy absolutely creams another opener straight down the diag. But he can't find a colour and leaves a red for Mark, who starts picking at the loose balls. He runs out of position though ... so tries swerving around the blue to send down the next ball. He misses by miles though, and is now in big trouble. Shaun gets underway, splits the pack, and this is now a great chance.

Murphy 4-3 Williams

This is pretty much as good a match as we could've hoped for - and there's plenty more of it to come.

Murphy 3-3 Williams (56-37)

Not for long, though. Shaun is back when Mark misses a double, and he'll have to miss something silly to avoid winning the frame from here.

Murphy 3-3 Williams (42-30)

Because Murphy lives in Ireland now, he's had problems practising because of the need to self-isolate when going home. But apparently he's sorted that for this, and it's showing. But have a look! He misses another into the middle and Mark is grooved to punish. The table isn't easy, but he really is, and Shaun will be starting to wonder.

Murphy 3-3 Williams (22-0)

It's Shaun in first again, and the red he sinks forces him into a fine blue. He needn't have taken it on, but the potential rewards convinced him and he's now in decent shape - though it takes a further good red, this time with the rest, to force position on the black. He's usually pretty good with the x so that missed pink in the previous frame was a surprising one. But he'll be feeling a bit better now.

Murphy 3-3 Williams

Mark Williams is a don. He's played so calmly when he's been given chances, and brilliantly when he's needed to. This is a great match already.

Murphy 3-2 Williams (32-45)

Er, or not. It works out ok but then a lovely pink that leaves him struggling for the next red and with no obvious safety on ... but he smacks home a glorious pot taking the ball from around the pink spot into the corner from baulk. After which Mark tucks in behind the brown, and the mid-session lead looks not long for this world.

Murphy 3-2 Williams (32-31)

Just when he looks set, Shaun misses a pink with the rest! This game! Mark now has work to do, but he knows there's pressure on him to sort it, and that makes me think he will. Not many of whom you can say that, but he's one; how his split goes will likely determine who wins this frame.

Murphy 3-2 Williams (27-0)

It's funny, blogging the snooker - often there's less to describe when the players are playing well because every shot looks and then is made to look routine. That's been a lot like this, but it's such enjoyable fare. And have a look! Murphy sinks a sensational long red, dead straight on the diagonal - you've got to be cueing so well to even think about taking that on. There's a lot of work to do to convert that shot into points, but a succession of lovely pots and he's on the road.

Murphy 3-1 Williams

Ah it was a red into the centre Murphy missed. Doesn't matter now, except in his head; a 108 from Mark J, his second ton of the evening, brings him to within one.

Murphy 3-1 Williams (25-58)

Mark is in touch too, and Shaun will be rueing whatever he missed, though, in fairness, he got away with it in the last frame.

Murphy 3-1 Williams (25-16)

Shaun gets himself away in frame five, and Mark will know he needs to raise his level. But just when you think he's nice and settled, he misses something - I don't see what because my screen freezes - but when it returns, Mark is slotting them home.

The boyz are rebaizing

Murphy 3-1 Williams

What a skank that was! Mark will be extremely unhappy, but for the rest of us was a lovely mini-session. See you in 15.

Murphy 2-1 Williams (61-55)

Whoops! Shaun looks to clip the pink into the baulk cushion and, like Withnail and his holiday, ends up potting it by mistake! The black is tight on the side cushion though ... but he only pots that too! Superbly done!

Murphy 2-1 Williams (48-55)

And it's Shaun who drains it ... but he misses a simple pink! It's not quite the disaster it seems because he needs the black too and he didn't get position, but all he had to do was clip it into the corner. He didn't even get close, so the chase is on once more.

Murphy 2-1 Williams (39-55)

It's a big frame, is this - more for Mark than for Shaun, so if Shaun wins it, it's huge for him. This clearance is no gimme though, and the brown forces a safety. iI's looking like this for the frame.

Murphy 2-1 Williams (20-55)

After three lush frames, this one is getting scrappy ... but have a look! Shaun plays a glorious re, gently into the cushion next to it and kissing it into the middle. He can't make anything of it but, and Mark extends his lead by a little only to take on a risky red and leave it over the top left. He knocks the brown safeish though - this frame is going to be an arse-nipper.

Murphy 2-1 Williams (12-39)

But on 54, he gets slightly low on a black, leaves the pot over the pocket and starter for Shaun. He drains it and brings the white across the table so that he can go into the pack off the next ball. It doesn't work out, but after Mark misses a red, he has another chance to up the pressure.

Murphy 2-1 Williams (0-39)

A gorgeous long red from Mark gets the frame underway, and he's soon doing plenty to make sure it belongs to him.

Murphy 2-1 Williams

Shaun rattles in one more luscious red, then runs out of position with frame sorted and then some.

Murphy 1-1 Williams (80-12)

Shaun gets in next - again, via magical long red - and, very swiftly, removes all the balls he needs to secure the frame.

Murphy 1-1 Williams (37-8)

But wait! Shaun has to play a tricky red along the top rail and jawses it, inviting Mark to the table with the starter plated up; there's plenty else there for him too, but he misses his cannon off the black and that's end of break.

Murphy 1-1 Williams (37-0)

Shaun drops in an expert's starter, glided in with some angle, and he's off again. He's so beautiful to watch when he's on, and he's on tonight.

Murphy 1-1 Williams

A superb 108 sees Williams draw level. Hubba hubba hubba.

Murphy 1-0 Williams (0-44)

Might Mark be in good touch too? If so, we're in for a treat, and he wanders about the table accumulating before splitting the pack; he's looking very good for the frame at this point.

Murphy 1-0 Williams (0-18)

Williams gets in first again, but seeking to go into the pack off the black, he misses the middle and wallops a couple of loose ones; that might be end of break. But there's a potential double available, or a red very close to the white cut to the middle; he gets down for the latter, then gets up again, then gets down again, then gets up again and eventually bags the double. But it leaves him bang behind the black, and all he can manage is a roll-up safety that leaves a difficult cut to the middle; Shaun misses and leaves similar, which Mark drains.

Murphy 1-0 Williams

Murphy will be very pleased with how that went. Even once the frame is won, he keeps the break going with a very acceptable red, wobbled into the top left, and the yellow, floated along the baulk cushion, is nice too. A clearance of 93 clinches the frame, but it'll be the tariff of the pots as well as the quantity of them that will be pleasing the Magician.

Murphy 0-0 Williams (64-6)

Just when Murphy looks in trouble, a fine black into the top left gets him out of it, but it leaves a trickyish red - the white is close to it - and he can't quite get the cut he needs, catching the near jaw. But he gets in again with a lush red followed by a difficult black, then starts compiling a run - he looks great out there.

Murphy 0-0 Williams (7-6)

Williams eases a red into the middle and immediately cracks the pack, but somehow winds up on nowt. There's a red over the pocket too, which Murphy knocks in, but off another red, billiard-style. He can't make anything of it, but gets the next chance too and this is a decent one, though pink and black are out of commission.

Shaun Murphy to break

It's the first to six.

The players are backstage

On we go.

"We're very fortunate to have jobs to go to"

Says Murphy - wise words. He also says that he's playing well, he just keeps running into people playing better - I wonder if he thinks he should be playing better still.

Hello again

This should be really enjoyable. Eyes down. Earlier on today, Stuart Bingham, the defending champion, made hard work of beating Thepachaiya Un-Nooh 6-4 - he was 5-1 up - but he got there in the end, and plays the winner of tonight's little tussle, Shaun Murphy v Mark Williams.

But not as good a plan as joining me at 6.45 for the evening session

We'll have Shaun Murphy v Mark WIlliams, which should be a beaut. See youse then.

Stuart speaks

He says maybe he felt too good at the midsession, and the way Thepchaiya came back, he was getting a bit jittery. When he split the pack in that final frame, he actually miscued, so was relieved to turn it into the decisive contribution. Jimmy compliments Stuart on his long potting and Stuart says he's got a table in the back garden of where he's staying to practise, so he gets up, has breakfast, plays for an hour, then gets to the telly then repeats, punctuating his day with phone calls home. Tonight, he definitely won't be watching the snooker, he'll be relaxing with a "sneaky Nando's" - which sounds like a plan.

Stuart Bingham beats Thepchaiya Un-Noo 6-4!

He meets Shaun Murphy or Mark Williams next.

Bingham 5-4 Un-Nooh (62-1)

It's been a really open, quick match this - all the frames, apart from frame seven, have been downed in short order. But in the end, Thepchaiya will regret how carelessly he played in the first session, and that's why he's going to lose.

Bingham 5-4 Un-Nooh (59-1)

Tentatively and at the last available opportunity, Stuart makes his way into the pack and just about gets on one of its former members. Down goes a red, and this looks a lot like frame and match.

Bingham 5-4 Un-Nooh (31-1)

A thin break-off from Stuart looks to have maintained Thepchaiya's momentum, but he can't capitalise and a kiss off the green hands Stuart a chance. But his game has totally forsaken him, and a very strange shot, playing neither pot nor safe, allows Thepchaiya back to the table. But he's gone to pot too, unable to pot too, missing a pink with the rest by about a fortnight. Stuart needs to gather himself, because this is a chance to take himself close...

Bingham 5-4 Un-Nooh

Well hello! A clearance of 113 and it's up for grabs! That red Bingham missed was a proper blacksmith's effort - he's feeling it alright.

What is the format?

It's a simple proposition: the 16 best players in the world playing in a straight knock-out format on one table. There's a day session at 1pm and an evening session at 7pm each day from Sunday, January 10 to Sunday, January 17.
It's best of 11 all the way up to the final, which will be best of 19.

Full Masters schedule

First round
Sunday January 10
  • Kyren Wilson 6-2 Gary Wilson
  • Joe Perry 2-6 David Gilbert
Monday January 11
  • Stuart Bingham 6-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (1pm)
  • Shaun Murphy v Mark Williams (7pm)
Tuesday January 12
  • Neil Robertson v Yan Bingtao (1pm)
  • Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire (7pm)
Wednesday January 13
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan v Ding Junhui (1pm)
  • John Higgins v Mark Allen (7pm)
Quarter-finals
Thursday January 14
  • Perry / Gilbert v Wilson / Wilson (1pm)
  • Bingham / Un-Nooh v Murphy / Williams (7pm)
Friday January 15
  • Higgins / Allen v O'Sullivan v Ding (1pm)
  • Selby / Maguire v Robertson / Yan (7pm)
Semi-finals
Saturday January 16
  • TBC v TBC (1pm)
  • TBC v TBC (7pm)
Final
Sunday January 17
  • TBC v TBC (1pm, 7pm)

HOW TO WATCH THE MASTERS 2021 TV AND LIVESTREAM

You can watch every moment of the Masters live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk.
The Masters will also be broadcast on Eurosport 1 across the week.
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