Judd Trump completed a remarkable comeback that included a jaw-dropping moment of wizardry to beat Shaun Murphy 6-4 at the Champion of Champions and set up a semi-final against Barry Hawkins.
Trailing 3-1 at the mid-session interval, Trump responded with a run of four consecutive frames and produced an astonishing piece of skill in the seventh with a miraculous positional shot, potting the yellow and guiding the cue ball off two cushions and through a tight gap to perfectly develop a red.
Murphy, who won the first ranking event of the season in July at the Championship League, bowed out despite making a fast start and playing some fine snooker of his own in an entertaining match.
Trump remains on course for a fourth trophy in his last five events at the invitational tournament, and the winner of his semi-final with Hawkins will face either John Higgins or Mark Allen in the final.
Murphy made a dream start in his bid to topple the world No. 3, producing a magnificent 107 break in the opening frame to get straight into his groove.
The fast start continued as ‘The Magician’ doubled his lead, pouncing on a chance handed to him by a Trump miss to take a second frame in which last year’s runner-up put just five points on the board.
The sixth seed started frame three brightly too, but just as he looked to be marching towards a 3-0 lead, an undercut allowed Trump back in and he pounced on the opportunity to reduce the deficit.
Murphy managed to dust himself down and took the fourth to restore a two-frame lead at the interval at 3-1, going in having made a break of at least 50 in all four frames.
Whatever Trump said to himself in the mirror during the break clearly did the trick, as the world No. 3 came out fighting with his best break of the match so far, an 84 that narrowed the gap once more.
The 34-year-old then drew level when a costly miss from Murphy left Trump with the task of tidying up the table.
The Trump comeback continued with a third consecutive break of over 50 in the seventh frame, a 56 clearance that included a stunning shot where he potted the yellow, bounced the cue ball off two cushions and squeezed it through a small gap between brown and blue to develop a red on the other side.
Murphy, finding himself behind for the first time in the match, started well in his bid to level things up once more, leaving Trump needing two snookers to get back in the frame.
Returning to the table, Trump got himself back in it by forcing two errors from Murphy to reduce the gap to 34 with 35 left on the table, and another foul allowed the third seed back to complete a remarkable comeback and go one frame from victory.
But this absorbing contest wasn’t done yet as Murphy pulled himself back into it at 5-4 to break a four-frame losing streak.
Trump decided enough was enough and timed his first century break perfectly as a 107 clearance took him to victory in the most compelling of quarter-finals.
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