Murphy sets his sights on the Masters

Messenger Newspapers: Murphy sets his signts on  the Masters Murphy sets his signts on the Masters

SALE potter Shaun Murphy is ready to turn his attention to the Masters after the world number seven was knocked out of the UK Snooker Championship fourth round.

Murphy slipped to an agonising 6-5 defeat to an in-form Barry Hawkins, who hit two century breaks on his way to victory at the Barbican Centre in York.

The 31-year-old, who lost to Mark Selby in the UK final this time last year, was satisfied with the way he played and philosophical in defeat.

And, with the Masters fast approaching in January followed by the World Championships at the Crucible, there is plenty to keep Murphy interested this season.

“It’s [the Masters] about as big as they come for us and it is a tournament that in the last few years I have done pretty well in,” he said.

“I’m going back to a venue I have good memories of, so I’m looking forward to it. I have been playing well all season – I’ve just not been able to string any results together.

“Every time I’ve played a match I have come up against somebody who has played near the top of their game. [Against Hawkins] It was no different.

“It’s typical of the way snooker is just at the moment – we are going through this phase now where everybody is playing so well.

“Barry is full of confidence off the back of his Australia Open win last season. He now believes he is a winner and that is the massive difference – those six inches between your ears make all the difference at this level.”

British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk.

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