Wilson: Outstanding Murphy was hard to stop

Kyren Wilson paid tribute to the “outstanding” Shaun Murphy after what proved to be a one-sided final at the ManBetX Welsh Open.

By Jon Dunham
Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 10:37 am
Kyren Wilson in action during the Welsh Open final. Pictures courtesy of World Snooker Tour (WST)
Kyren Wilson in action during the Welsh Open final. Pictures courtesy of World Snooker Tour (WST)

The Kettering star enjoyed an excellent week in Cardiff as he started things with a memorable maximum 147 break in his first frame of the tournament before going on to defeat the likes of Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and the great Ronnie O’Sullivan to reach the final.

However, he ran into the in-form Murphy in what was something of a ‘battle of Northants’.

Murphy grew up in Irthlingborough where he learned his trade before moving away from the area in 2004.

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Shaun Murphy, who grew up in Irthlingborough, received the Welsh Open winner's trophy from legend Ray Reardon

And the former world champion continued his ruthless form, which sees him currently sitting second in the one-year ranking list, by inflicting a 9-1 defeat on the world number eight.

The loss came a week after Wilson had also reached the semi-finals of the Coral World Grand Prix.

And the Kettering man admitted there was little he could do at times during the Welsh Open final.

“It’s been a good couple of weeks with a semi-final and then a final, you can’t ask for much more than that with today’s standards,” Wilson said.

“It would have been nice to have got the win on Sunday, or at least to have won more than one frame!

“But it was one of them, Shaun was outstanding.

“With the standard as high as it is, when someone produces that sort of snooker they are very, very hard to stop.

“He has been there and won everything so I knew I would have to play well to beat him.

“I got off to a bad start. I could have won a couple of close frames that might have turned it but it wasn’t to be.”

Murphy, for his part, was understandably delighted after winning the title for the first time.

But he also offered a few words of encouragement for Wilson.

“It is fabulous, I’m absolutely overjoyed and over the moon,” said 37-year-old Murphy.

“This is what we play for. This is it. This winning feeling when you get handed the trophy at the end of the tournament. All those boyhood dreams, all those hours of practice they are for this so it is very special.

“I’ve been where Kyren is now and it is a disappointing place to be.

“He is made of strong stuff. We come from a similar area and I know he has some good people around him.

“He will probably watch the game back and see where he could learn from his few mistakes.

“In fairness I thought I played well and kept him at bay for a lot of the day. On another day I would be standing there as the runner-up.”