Murphy & Gould reach UK Championship quarters
|2017 UK Championship|
|Date: 28 Nov-10 Dec Venue: York Barbican|
|Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 2 December.|
World number six Shaun Murphy was in impressive form as he moved into the quarter-finals of the UK Championship with a convincing 6-1 win over Ricky Walden at the York Barbican.
The 2008 champion began with two breaks in excess of 50 to establish a 2-0 lead, and a slick 114 made it 3-0.
Walden hit a fine 80 break, but Murphy eased through after the interval.
The afternoon’s other last-16 tie saw world number 18 Martin Gould edge home 6-4 against China’s Xiao Guodong.
Gould opened with a break of 82 before trailing 4-3 as the match became increasingly scrappy and error-strewn.
But the 36-year-old Londoner showed his experience to close out victory with two 50-plus breaks.
“Sometimes you have to win ugly,” Gould said. “Neither of us has played as well as we can but I am through and that’s what counts.”
Murphy’s room for improvement
Meanwhile, Murphy, who plays Mark King in the last eight, was “delighted” with his win but said Walden was not at his best.
“On another day it could have been closer,” said Murphy.
“It was a bit tighter than the score suggests. I picked up a few of his crumbs. He had chances and didn’t take them.”
World number 23 Walden added: “I didn’t settle and let Shaun off early in the match. When I was finding a little bit of rhythm I made some silly errors and let him off the hook.”
Nottingham-based Murphy, 35, is one of just two seeds left in this year’s event, and could yet play the other remaining seed Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.
O’Sullivan takes to the table in the evening session as the final two matches of the fourth round are completed.
The UK five-time champion faces Thailand’s world number 84 Sunny Akani, while Englishman Mark Joyce plays China’s Lyu Haotian.
Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Mark King (Eng)
Ryan Day (Wal) v Mark Joyce (Eng) or Lyu Haotian (Chi)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Joe Perry (Eng)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) or Sunny Akani (Tha) v Martin Gould (Eng)