Updated 07/01/2024 at 22:41 GMT
Shaun Murphy is through to the quarter-final of the Masters with a ruthless 6-2 victory over Zhang Anda. The 2015 winner proved too strong for his opponent in a stylish display at Alexandra Palace, and he will meet Jack Lisowski in the last-eight. It was a disappointing way for debutant Zhang to end his tournament. Stream the action live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com.‘A super shot from Shaun!’ – Murphy executes fine plant on red
Shaun Murphy showed his ruthless streak as he brushed aside Zhang Anda 6-2 to claim his place in the quarter-finals of the Masters.
The world No. 6 made five breaks over 50, and although a century remained elusive, Murphy had offered a reminder of his qualities as he searches for his fourth Triple Crown win.
The tone was set in the first frame as Zhang, having pounced on a poor early shot from Murphy to make a break of 41, left an opening for Murphy, who executed a fine plant as he responded with 51.
Murphy’s safety play came to the fore as he tangled Zhang up in a snooker and saw out the frame to take a 1-0 lead.
It felt like deja vu for Zhang in frame two as his break ended prematurely at 37.
‘More concerned about the wasp!’ – Insect disturbs Murphy during Masters opener
A wasp briefly interrupted proceedings as Murphy weighed up his next move. A few shots later, Zhang dispatched an excellent long red to kick-start a cool clearance of 87 to level the scores.
“One of the rarest flukes you’ll ever see”, as described by Eurosport commentator Dominic Dale, lit up the third frame as Zhang missed the blue, which bounced on the jaw of the centre – but he was given a reprieve as it moved up the table to drop in the top left pocket.
However, it proved to be in vain as Murphy retook the lead in the match in a frame that lasted over 30 minutes after Zhang missed a costly red.
Zhang’s profligacy was proving costly and in the fourth frame he ran into trouble positionally again just when it looked like the frame was in his grasp.
He was left kicking himself as Murphy showed his killer instincts again to make Zhang rue his mistake – and his fist pump at the end of the frame proved how significant his 3-1 lead was.
‘That’s one of the rarest flukes you’ll ever see!’ – Zhang gets lucky with blue
The mid-session interval failed to slow Murphy’s rhythm as he produced the quickest frame of the match to move closer to victory, even though he missed out on the century with a break of 86.
Zhang made a timely intervention with a dominant display in the sixth frame to reduce the arrears – but again he failed to seal the deal in the one visit. Murphy needed two snookers but failed to find one as Zhang cleared the table.
Murphy reclaimed control as he made it 5-2, and once he got in amongst the balls in the final frame, there was no way back for Zhang as he made a break of 89.
Stream the 2024 Masters live on Eurosport and discovery+