Magic Murphy fights off Fu

Shaun Murphy launched an inspired comeback to beat Marco Fu and reach the Masters semi-finals at Alexandra Palace.

The Sale-based 'Magician' trailed 3-0 and 4-1 before finding his most fluent break-building form to reel off five frames in succession.

Fu knocked out showman Judd Trump in round one and began his second tussle in similarly strong form, taking the first frame with a 76 break.

Murphy missed a costly black off its spot after making 48 in the second, Fu responding with 31 and 30 to take the frame before adding the next.

Murphy finally got on the board in frame four with the help of a 49 but Fu restored his three-frame cushion with a 71 in the frame after the interval.

The match turned from then on, though, as Murphy roared back into the game. Breaks of 86 and 81 got him within one frame and he followed up with 117 to level the match.

Frame nine came down to a crucial safety battle on the final red and then the yellow, on which Fu laid a devilish snooker which Murphy twice missed by the narrowest margin.

Fu turned down two potting opportunities though, and was left regretting those decisions when Murphy cleared the colours to lead for the first time.

And he wrapped up victory in the next, taking control with a 64 and finishing things off when Fu left him a pot on the green.

Asked what happened to spark the turnaround, Murphy told BBC2: "I've no idea - and isn't that the frustrating thing about snooker?

"When it's going bad, you've no idea why, and when it's going well you've no idea. We're all absolutely clueless!

"I've realised playing my natural, more aggressive, style is where it's at for me. The likes of (Mark) Selby and (Neil) Robertson are more rounded players but that's not my style, it's not the way I'm made.

"I've been working really hard, to get used to my new cue has taken longer than I thought but I made a 147 last week in the Championship League and I thought 'yeah, you know it's there son, you know you can play this game'.

"I came here with no form whatsoever and I'm just on a bonus now, I can't wait to play again."

Selby is one possible opponent when he does, with Murphy facing the winner of Thursday night's match between the recent UK Championship runner-up and Scotland's four-time world champion John Higgins.

"It doesn't get any easier here," said Murphy. "I played John last year and it was a tough match.

"And then you've got Mark Selby - what can you say? He's one of the best players in the game at the moment."

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