Murphy, Bingham Underline Credentials, Dott Struggling

Day four at the 2012 UK Championship saw the start of the last 16 and brought victories for Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Ali Carter and Matthew Stevens at the Barbican Centre in York.

Due to time constraints (having arrived home from York at gone midnight and needing to be up for work tomorrow), I do not have time to produce a full review of the day’s action, however you can click below to read quotes from the press conferences of all four players who were in action this evening.

Of particular interest perhaps are those from Graeme Dott, who gave a brutally honest assessment of how he feels about the state of his game at the moment, although of course coming barely seconds after defeat, emotions would understandably have been running high…

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Graeme Dott’s reaction to his 6-2 defeat at the hands of Shaun Murphy this evening:

“I’ve not been happy for a while…I mean I just don’t think that I’m the same player I was. I’ve not played anywhere near the way I played in 2010 at the World Championship and if anything I have probably got worse than I was then. I’ve thrown so many matches now that I never used to do, really bad matches and I can’t remember doing that. I don’t think there is anybody else in the top 16 who can play as bad as I can play in some matches and it’s not good enough.”

“Hopefully it’s not just because of my age, I’m 35 now so I don’t know if I’ve had it, maybe I’m finished, maybe.”

“I wouldn’t say that it was the worst I’ve ever played, I probably played worse against [Martin] Gould the match before but there’s just more of them. I’m having more and more matches now that I’m playing that are pretty bad and I never used to be kinda that bad. I just don’t seem to score any more, I don’t seem to do anything the way I did before.”

“I’m still hitting the ball ok in practice before I go out there and then I go out there and just play as if I’ve never seen a venue before. I feel like some of the qualifiers must feel like.”

“I don’t know, hopefully, maybe it’s just a bad patch but it does not feel that way, I feel as though I’m not the same player.”

“I’m still trying, it’s not through lack of effort. I even went home to practice before this match, initially I was going to stay here but I went home. I’m practising ok, I’m just not bringing it to the table. I’m playing too many matches now but it’s just woeful.”

“I’ll need to sit and think and maybe try to do something because I don’t want to play the rest of my career just showing up to get beat, it’s not what I like to do.”

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with practice, just right now I don’t feel like I am good enough, that’s what it feels like.”

“I’m not going to retire. I’ve been feeling kinda shitty about my game for ages. I’ve just not, I’m not playing. I really can’t remember since 2010 when I got to a final and played really well, I can’t remember playing anywhere near the way I played at the Crucible that year. I’ve not played anywhere near it since so it’s not like it has just been a few months, it has been two years and I’ve not been anywhere near it.”

On Shaun’s performance:

“He was hitting the ball really well. I got absolutely no luck during the game but it would have made no difference. You know yourself sometimes how you are feeling and even if they were there I would probably have missed it anyway. Shaun played great and certainly deserved to win.”

“I thought he hit the ball really well. The tables are playing beautiful and I will be very surprised if there is not a max, the tables are really, really nice, really fast, the balls are sliding in off the pockets so there is every chance of a maximum. Shaun’s playing really, really well. Good chance to win it. I’ve got a good record, people who beat me seem to always win it or at least get to the final so you could probably bet Shaun.

Shaun Murphy added:

“I’ve had a bit of a change in my approach to snooker over the last few months and but for a few little bits of luck here and there in a few PTCs I’ve been playing quite well so I’m chuffed to get through to the quarters and onwards and upwards.”

“When I burst onto the scene and was going for everything and going for mental shots and going for these ridiculous shots, everyone told me I was wrong and I’ve had to sit back and watch all of these young kids come out playing my kind of snooker that I invented! I’ve had to watch them do it and it has really annoyed me, so I’ve decided to go back to what I do best and attack the balls.”

On being told that Graeme had said that he could win the title:

“It’s very nice of him to say that coming from him, he is a great champion himself. I’ve never seen anyone have so much bad luck or bad run in a best of 11 match. Every time he came to the table something unlucky happened. He had so much bad run and but for that the score might have been different.”

“It just shows me that I was on the right track when I was 22 and I should have stayed on the track I was on and maybe I would have won a few more events down the line. But it’s not too late for me to turn around and go back to that and I’ve never forgotten how to attack. I know on my day that I can mix it with the best of them, I’ve decided to go back to my strengths and I’ll give it a good run.”

On facing either Luca Brecel or Mark King next:

“I’ve known Luca for quite some times because I am good friends with his coach Chris Henry, so I’ve seen Luca come through for the last 5-6 years and he told me some time ago that he was going to be the next big thing. Just 17 years of age, getting to the Crucible, through to the last 16 here, he’s looking like the real deal. Of course Mark King is not to be overlooked either and whichever one comes through it will be a tough game.”

Stephen Maguire’s reaction to defeat against Stuart Bingham:

“I’ve played worse than that and won, but I gave away two frames which were just ridiculous really. One I’m on 60 and I’ve pushed the red and in the second frame I’ve missed a black off the spot where I’m trying to pinch the bag, so basically 6-4, those two frames cost me the match.”

“Just pure stupidity what I’ve done there [the push shot], so that was obviously one frame, he made a good clearance and all credit the last two frames, I thought if I got back to four-each, I fancied the job, but I didn’t even see a red there the last two frames so fair play.”

“It’s the same for any tournament, now that Ronnie O’Sullivan is not in it, I think the next best player…well, I think Higgins is a better player anyway, but Higgins is still there and there’s a lot of players there. I wouldn’t say it has just opened up because one player has lost. Stuart Bingham is probably playing better than anyone just now.”

Stuart Bingham’s thoughts on his latest strong performance:

“I scored near enough 50 in every frame that I won I think, it was a great game, we played bad shots, we played good shots each. It was a very tough battle and I’m over the moon to come through it.”

“Probably with the media, a lot of my successes have come overseas so obviously to do it in the UK is massive. To win the Premier League last week has given me a load of confidence so hopefully I can continue for the rest of the week.”

“I’m very happy with my game, I came up against a really tough opponent today and I’ve come through it so my game seemed really good, working with my coach Steve Feeney from Sight Right, everything is going really good so I’m over the moon with the result.”

“I’m very comfortable with my own game now, obviously I miss a few shots here and there, but if I get a chance I can clear up, I’m very confidence and I’ll get a lot of confidence coming through beating Stephen Maguire.”

“Obviously happy off the table, happy on the table, I met my fiancée three years ago, we’ve got a little son who is 15 months old and step-daughter who is nine. Everything is going really well. Obviously working with Steve and it has all clicked, it has been unbelievable.”

“I’m missing my family loads as I am away a lot but that is the way it goes sometimes and I have got to do my job.”

“We are getting married next May in Cyprus, the wedding is all paid for and I can just get on with the snooker.”

“I didn’t fear anyone anyway, I know if I am on my game I can beat anyone. I’ve pulled out good results before, the way I am playing at the moment and the draw is opening up a little bit. I think I’ve got Ali Carter next and that is going to be another tough opponent, we grew up together and I have just got to take one game at a time and get ready for that game now.”


  • Claus

    Graeme’s description of his game reminded me of Hendry. A slow decline from which there is no escape. Let’s see if that is indeed true.

    I like Murphy’s new approach. I doubt he invented it though… but best of luck to him.

  • ANON

    playing my kind of snooker that I invented“….. Shaun might have said it in jest but he should be aware how that sort of statement comes across….

    Also a bit unfortunate of Dott to refer to “thrown matches” in the context of whats gone on over the last couple of years…

    Like MJW Graeme seems to be devastated by this defeat – don’t know why but I somehow thought the UK had lost its standing a little bit, but it seems that to the players its still definitely the second biggest tournament. Perhaps that explains some of the ‘nervy’ performances we’ve seen this week.

    A word on Maguire – it might seem harsh to kick a man while he’s down but at the end of last night’s match he actually looked bigger than Bingham. That ‘Fat world champion’ jibe is starting to look like the worst piece of Hubris ever – he will be 32 by the time of next year’s championship – even if he wins he would be the oldest first time champion since Dennis Taylor (only Taylor, Thorburn, Reardon, Pulman, Fred Davis, Donaldson and Lindrum were older when they won their first title – its not impossible but time and history are now heavily against him).