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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 February 2008, 23:29 GMT
O'Sullivan to face Selby in final
Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan was too good for Murphy
Ronnie O'Sullivan will face Mark Selby in the final of the Welsh Open on Sunday after overpowering in-form Shaun Murphy 6-3.

Chasing his third title of the season, O'Sullivan was in superb form and in the final frame racked up a 143 break - the highest of the tournament so far.

"I knew I had to raise my game because I heard how well Shaun had been playing here," said O'Sullivan.

"I suppose that did me a favour in that I was more focused."

Murphy, who won the Malta Cup six days ago, made an encouraging start, stealing the first frame with a 70 clearance after O'Sullivan missed a straightforward pink.

The following three frames were each a story of breaks, 76 and 113 from O'Sullivan, 76 from Murphy as they quickly arrived at the mid-session interval at 2-2.

I feel the only real difference was that Ronnie got the better chances

Shaun Murphy

O'Sullivan's hot streak continued in the fifth frame as a 101 break enabled him to lead for the first time at 3-2 before Murphy replied by winning a relatively scrappy sixth.

But from that point on O'Sullivan took control, leaving Murphy to mull over a fourth semi-final defeat of the 2007/08 campaign, after also losing at the same stage of the Grand Prix, Northern Ireland Trophy and UK Championship.

"I feel the only real difference was that Ronnie got the better chances," said Murphy.

"What should be noted is the amount of respect that Ronnie paid me on the table.

"Every time he was playing safe he concentrated on putting the cue ball in the precise position that would make it as tough as possible for me."


Now only Selby can prevent O'Sullivan becoming the third player after Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry to reach the milestone of 20 world ranking tournament successes.

The man from Leicester beat Stephen Hendry 6-4 to book his place in the final.

Hendry knocked in two century breaks while Masters champion Selby's highest run was a score of 71 in the fifth frame which edged him 3-2 ahead.

Hendry levelled the match at 4-4 thanks to a superb 124 clearance but the Englishman took the ninth and 10th frames to secure his victory.

"I'm really happy with my game, why shouldn't I be after the Masters?" said the 24 year-old, referring to his capture of the Masters title at Wembley in January.

"Early doors I was struggling for whatever reason but when I needed to perform I did and that's what I've been doing lately.

Mark kept putting the cue-ball in the most awkward positions possible. You could tell he's the form man

Stephen Hendry

"I couldn't feel any better than I do at the moment."

Hendry refused to be too downhearted after reaching his first ranking event semi-final since the 2006 UK Championship.

"Obviously I'm disappointed but I'm still going to take a lot of positives from the week. I'm playing a lot better," said the 39-year-old former world champion.

"I played well but the difference was Mark's safety. He was excellent in that department and I wasn't tight enough.

"Mark kept putting the cue-ball in the most awkward positions possible for me. You could tell he's the form man."

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