SHAUN MURPHY kept his fine recent run going – but only just as he prevailed in a deciding frame to qualify for the final stages of the China Open at the Capital Venue in Gloucester on Monday.
Murphy, winner of the Gdynia Open and group 5 of the Championship League earlier this month, led Adam Duffy 4-2, winning the sixth frame with a break of 116.
But the 2005 world champion made little impression on the next two frames as Duffy fought back to force a decider. It ground on for 53 minutes with chances on both sides until Murphy eventually cleared from yellow to pink to secure his place in Beijing.
There were no such anxieties for Judd Trump, the 2010 China Open champion, who defeated Elliot Slessor 5-0.
Stephen Maguire warmed up for the defence of his BetVictor Welsh Open title this week with a 5-2 victory over Chris Wakelin.
1997 world champion Ken Doherty broke down on 97 with a chance to make a maximum in the fifth frame of his match against Andrew Norman, who he went on to beat 5-1.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.