Shaun Murphy: Time to deliver

On a streak of four ranking event defeats in a row, three this season, world number three Shaun Murphy needs to get his season going in Bahrain and he has been chatting to the local press ahead of the tournament…

Shaun told The Gulf Daily News:

On his 2005 World title:

“It was unbelievable,” said Murphy yesterday as we sat down for a chat at Seef Residence.

“You know, I had not won at the Crucible before that. So we just kept celebrating as I kept progressing in the championship. But once I beat Peter Ebdon, we began to seriously give ourselves a good chance of winning the title,”

On his start to the new season:

“It has not been one of the best,”

“But I ran into some of the best players early on and that did not help. Now I’m determined to bounce back. If I can do it in Bahrain it would be great.”

On religion:

“I don’t know about others, but being religious helps me. It helps me concentrate, helps me remain focused and calm,”

“The charity work we do in Zimbabwe is very close to my heart. We help impoverished children in and around Harare and we draw a lot of satisfaction doing it,”

On patience:

“You have to be patient. As the famous saying goes, one frame may not win you a match, but it certainly can lose it. I have learnt to be patient and that has helped me a great deal,”

On snooker and the Olympics:

“I was part of a team which went to Moscow in 1997 to demonstrate the sport in front of the IOC. That was the closest we came in this regard. But I’m sure snooker can be a hit at the Olympics,”

On the break-off shot and his relationship with his father:

“The break off has become tricky because the thickness of the green cloth has been reduced remarkably. Thus making a perfect break off has become difficult,”

“It’s all been solved and we are together again,”

“He is now looking for that winning touch to celebrate the reunion.”

Hopefully Shaun can get back on the winning trail this week as his recent run of form has seen him slip down to 7th in the latest provisional rankings. I must admit that when he first got up to number three I expected him to kick on from his World title, his win in Malta and really have a go at the number one spot, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t quite happened yet.

At 26 though he should still have his best years ahead of him and with so many other top players out this week, there is a real chance for Shaun to go on a good run in Bahrain and recover some of his lost confidence.

Another early defeat however and the pressure would really be on going into the UK Championship in Telford next month…