Stuart Bingham shrugs off Shaun Murphy to reach Masters semi-finals


Defending champion Stuart Bingham shrugged off Shaun Murphy to book his place back in the semi-finals of the Masters in Milton Keynes.

Bingham clinched a gruelling affair 6-3 after a marathon tussle whose highlight was a 133 he made in the second frame to haul level at 1-1.

Both players were guilty of missed chances and none proved more important than Murphy’s missed yellow in the fourth frame which enabled Bingham to pull back from 58 points behind to level at 2-2.

Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham

A 91 in the next frame saw Bingham nudge ahead and he extended his lead only for Murphy to belatedly discover his form with a break of 70 reduce the deficit back to a single frame.

Bingham clinched a 47-minute eighth frame on the colours and took the next in two visits to win the match and book a last-four clash with Yan Bingtao or Stephen Maguire.

Earlier, David Gilbert also reached the last four for the second consecutive year after beating Kyren Wilson in a final-frame decider.

2020 Dafabet Masters – Day Seven – Alexandra Palace
2020 Dafabet Masters – Day Seven – Alexandra Palace

Breaks of 67 and 66 in the last two frames ultimately saw Gilbert come from behind to claim a 6-5 victory.

Despite Gilbert appearing to miscue on a simple black with the match at his mercy, Wilson could not capitalise and a missed pink to the middle sealed Gilbert’s win.

Gilbert said: “I had a miscue and I’m sat in my chair thinking this is going to be a tough one to swallow – when Kyren missed that pink in the middle I could have stripped off and run around the table.”

David Gilbert has beaten Kyren Wilson in a deciding frame to reach the semi finals of the @Betfred Masters!

The Farmer is guaranteed £60,000

— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 14, 2021

Gilbert, who will play either Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins in the last four, had reached just one quarter-final in seven tournaments prior to the Masters this season.

And he admitted the coronavirus situation has weighed heavy on his form, adding: “I think I’ve just been getting used to this new crap world we’re living in.

“It really is crap. I hate this term ‘new normal’. Let’s just get back to how it was as soon as possible. When you’ve enjoyed certain things and it’s all just gone, it’s easy to let things snowball.”

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