Before the start of the World Championship, I said that the tight matches of this year first round are Selby-Maflin, Murphy-Hull and Carter-McManus. It looks like I was right with the first, let’s see what happens next.
The magician was winner at the Crucible ten years ago, rewriting snooker’s history book as he became the lowest ranked player ever to win snooker’s biggest title, the world No 48. In 2009 he lost his second final against John Higgins, 9-18. Murphy won the 2008 UK Championship, and became only the tenth player in snooker history which has won both the World and UK titles. On 18 January 2015, Murphy hammered Neil Robertson in the Masters final 10-2, completing his career Triple Crown. Beside this he won the EPT Events 3 & 4 and played the final at the German Masters, 7-9 to Selby.
This is the third appearance at the Crucible for Finland’s best snooker player, he knocked out in the qualifying stages McCrudden 10-3 (112), Woollastone 10-6 (125, 138) and Figueiredo 10-4(126, 139) building five century breaks during those meetings. Last year he played in the first round against Ronnie O’Sullivan, losing 4-10, registering a century of 102 points in that match. Hull reached the quarter-finals by Wuxi Classic and last 16 rounds at the China Open, having a total of 15 centuries during this season.
I expect an open game, same as yesterday Selby-Maflin was, with first set of safety shots coming in fourth frame, with some big breaks from both players.
H2H: Murphy 2-0
Prediction: Shaun Murphy to advance.
Betting perspectives: over 1.5 centuries in the firstname.lastname@example.org at and Hull to make the highest break in the email@example.com at
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