IT always seemed likely that Shaun Murphy’s next title would be worth a lot more than the money involved. When the drought was finally ended in Poland with victory at the Gdynia Open Murphy claimed in the arena that he had almost stopped believing those around him and closest to him that a breakthrough was just around the corner if he kept putting the work in.
Having had a little longer to reflect on the significance of the success Murphy has penned an excellent and illuminating entry on his own official web site about what if felt like to lift a trophy for the first time in two and a half years, the last occasion coming in Brazil. For the last time in an event carrying ranking points, make that almost three years and the PTC Grand Finals in Ireland in 2011.
All journalists like to get as close to the truth as possible and Murphy has done it largely on his own here. Of particular note were the admissions of complacency earlier in his career, when the titles were flowing; the description of his recent Masters 6-1 semi-final defeat to Mark Selby as the “lowest point”, resulting as it did in some very un-Murphy like comments about doing something else; the reference to the 17 major semi-finals lost; the very believable confirmation that the £20,000 was of secondary importance by the Baltic Sea; and the stripping bare of a player’s psyche when doubt races in and confidence takes a hike.
As Murphy says, there are plenty of events left this season and given such a boost who is to say what he might go on to achieve between now and May, with plenty of tour evidence already this season of form coming in spurts and titles in clusters.