With Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump concluding the 2014 UK Championship in dramatic fashion at the York Barbican on Sunday evening, it’s time to look back at the best matches from the first Triple Crown event of the season.
The Rocket’s thrilling 10-9 victory secured his fifth UK title, drawing him level with seven-time Stephen Hendry. Steve Davis holds the all-time record with six, which he won over a period of eight years in the 1980s.
5) Shaun Murphy vs Marco Fu
In a repeat of the 2008 UK final, Shaun Murphy and Marco Fu took to the baize for a last 16 bout. Six years ago – when the event was played around 150 miles south in Telford – Murphy snatched the best of 19 match in a deciding frame. Over the shorter format of 11 frames, Hong Kong’s Fu, was looking to exact some revenge.
After some gentle sparring over the first four frames, the two players went to the mid-session interval with honours even. Upon their return, it was the Englishman who struck the first significant blow, with a magnificent total clearance of 137 in the fifth frame. Fu grappled to draw level once again, but assured breaks of 75 and 82, moved Murphy two clear, and a frame away from a place in the last eight.
Yet despite the battering, the Chinese player was not ready to lie down. In a tense ninth frame, Fu snared it on the final black after his opponent spurned a chance to close out the match, and a run of 67 in frame ten, ensured an 11th frame would be required.
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High on confidence after his recent Ruhr Open triumph, Murphy drew first blood but was unable to cross the finishing line, breaking down on 54. Fu clawed himself back into the frame, but afforded Murphy another opportunity when his run dried up on 33. Again however, he couldn’t take it, extending his advantage by a mere eight points, and Fu kept his composure to sink the colours and clinch the win.