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Murphy ends three-year drought with World Open triumph

ESPN staff
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Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby are good friends © PA Photos
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Shaun Murphy ended a three-year drought without a ranking title with a 10-6 victory against fellow Brit Mark Selby in the World Open final.

Selby had rallied from 7-2 down to move within one frame at 8-6, but Murphy kept his cool to clinch the title and £85,000 top prize.

Murphy defeated both Ding Junhui and defending champion Mark Allen en route to the final and started against Selby in blistering style. He raced into a 4-0 lead thanks to breaks of 64, 80 and 52 before Selby's 91 helped him back to 4-2.

However, Murphy found his range and finished strongly in the opening session with further visits of 98, 105 and 112 to lead by five frames.

A 78 got Selby off to a positive start in the evening session on Sunday and he edged two further frames to move back within two. Murphy restored a three-frame lead with a 60 but Selby hit back to claim frame number 14.

However, a 78 from Murphy saw him move within one of the title and, despite Selby's spirited resistance in the 16th frame, finished the pink for victory.

"Mark was under no pressure at 7-2," Murphy told worldsnooker.com. "I knew he would come back and that I would have to wait for my chances. We're very good friends and we've beaten each other many times.

"Today was a good match, we both played well in parts. I'm so happy to win a ranking event again, it has been a long time. Snooker is a very tough game now so these events are hard to win. There are three more tournaments to go this season and maybe there's something left in the tank.

"There's no secret to it, I've just been working very hard and practising every day for a long time. It worked in Poland and it's worked here. On Tuesday I'll be back on the practice table."

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