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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Murphy fightback shocks Stevens
Matthew Stevens and Shaun Murphy
Both players look stunned by Murphy's comeback
Former champion Shaun Murphy won six successive frames in a thrilling comeback to beat Matthew Stevens 13-12 in a classic Crucible quarter-final.

Stevens, twice a beaten finalist, resumed with an 11-5 lead on Wednesday needing only two frames for victory.

But Murphy, who beat the Welshman 18-16 in the 2005 final, took it to a decider by claiming seven out of eight frames.

In the last, Murphy built a 44-point cushion and a deflated Stevens could find no way back.

Murphy began one of the great Crucible comebacks with a modest break of 25, which ended when his attempt to stun off the black into the remaining reds saw him miss the pack entirely.

However, he was soon back at the table and wrapped the frame up with a fluent 92 clearance.

606: DEBATE

A poor safety shot put him on the back foot early on in the second frame but Stevens could not quite close the door and a fine shot to free the final red, followed by a superb long black, saw Murphy take the frame with a 63 clearance.

The third frame of the day was a more turgid affair, but Stevens eventually sunk the pink after an extended safety duel to move within a frame of victory.

The fourth frame was similar with neither player able to take a decisive grip.

Murphy missed a simple green when he looked set to clear up but he ensnared Stevens in a number of snookers and eventually an 18 clearance to the pink saw him go into the mid-session interval trailing 12-8.

He continued his revival after the mid-session interval, claiming the 22nd frame 76-60 to cut the gap to three and following up with a superb 94 clearance in the next to trail just 12-10.

Stevens had two chances to wrap up the match in the next but after a safety battle on the blue, Murphy kept his composure to pot that and a tricky long pink.

Both players failed to turn chances into sizeable breaks as Murphy clinched a scrappy encounter to take the match to a final frame.

Stevens left the arena in an attempt to regain his focus but Murphy built a significant advantage in the finale and sealed a remarkable win.

Afterwards, Murphy revealed he was as shocked as anyone else by his remarkable comeback win.

"I went to bed last night and never believed I could do it," he told BBC Sport.

"Everyone says 'you can do it' but you never believe you can.

"I just hacked away at his lead and before I knew it, I was shaking his hand at the end."

One person notable in his absence from the arena was Murphy's father Tony.

The pair have not spoken for over a year after an unspecified rift, but Murphy says he would happily make peace with him.

"It's a great shame," he said.

"Everyone has trouble with their family, and I'm no different.

"The door's always open, I've been waiting for him to pick up the phone - my number hasn't changed.

"He's not here but if he picks the phone up and sorts it out, he'd be welcome."


Shaun Murphy (Eng) 13-12 Matthew Stevens (Wal)
4-97 0-118 (118) 37-70 (64) 86-12 (82) 68-54 0-108 (108) 123-0 (89) 59-25 47-75 (61) 31-89 68-37 21-89 52-54 5-76 (52) 0-95 (57) 0-81 (81) 117-0 (92) 64-58 (60) 50-73(52) 76-60 76-14 (61) 94-15 (94) 60-48 47-19 87-0



SEE ALSO
Stevens comes through Allen test
28 Apr 07 |  Snooker
Murphy makes Crucible last eight
27 Apr 07 |  Snooker
Stevens canters to easy victory
22 Apr 07 |  Snooker


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