SHAUN MURPHY survived more black ball drama to secure his place in Haikou World Open final on Saturday.
Murphy defeated Mark Allen 6-4 after Allen went in-off the re-spotted black at the end of the tenth frame. On Friday, Murphy had fluked the final black to beat Graeme Dott 5-4 in the quarter-finals.
Allen, attempting to complete a hat-trick of World Open titles, had sank the black to force the re-spot. A lengthy, high quality safety exchange ensued with only one realistic chance, a difficult long pot from distance which Murphy missed.
Allen eventually chanced a double, playing the cue ball towards the top cushion for safety. But the Northern Irishman watched as it dropped into a corner pocket, handing victory to Murphy.
After two close opening frames, Murphy began to take control, making breaks of 74 and 69 to lead 3-1. He was in on 57 in the fifth but missed a black off its spot and Allen coolly cleared with 66 for 3-2.
Murphy responded with 67 in the next before Allen tactically controlled the seventh to stay in touch at 4-3.
An edgy eighth frame was resolved in Murphy’s favour on the pink but he went in-off early in the ninth and Allen made 100 to keep the match alive.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.