Shaun Murphy withstands Mark Selby fightback to set up Kyren Wilson showdown in Tour Championship final

Shaun Murphy withstood a typically dogged performance from Mark Selby to win a final-frame decider in the semi-final of the Tour Championship.

The 2005 world champion emerged from a titanic tussle with a 10-9 win to set up a final showdown with Kyren Wilson at the Bonus Arena in Hull.

It was a tense, high-quality affair with Murphy’s 59 in frame 19 – his eighth 50+ break of the match to his opponent’s nine – ensured his progression to the final of the season’s penultimate ranking event of the season.

Selby was staring down the barrel of defeat at 9-6 but, as is often the case with Selby, snooker’s marathon man produced near-flawless snooker to send the match to a final-frame decider.

But he was unable to seal another remarkable comeback in a career defined by remarkable comebacks.

The showdwon was fittingly settled by a decider after the pair could not be separated for much of the match. It was four frames each at the end of the afternoon session, six-apiece at the interval and then 9-9 after Selby had rallied after a post-interval slump.

And when Murphy contributed a 60 in frame 15 to take a 9-6 advantage, the world No. 6 was the overwhelming favourite to make the Tour Championship final.

However, Selby would contribute runs of 81, 78 and 106 to send the match to a final-frame shootout.

There, Selby after some up-table safety – perhaps against instinct – gambled first but missed a red to the green pocket. He jawed it, allowing Murphy sight of the final.

The Magician compiled a 59 before playing safe, with Selby needing two snookers. Selby played on, as is his wont. However, having potted two reds and two blacks, he could not fashion the required snookers.

And when Murphy drained the final red into the bottom right, he was into a 25th ranking event final and keeps alive his hopes of securing a Tour and Players Championship double.

But in Wilson, he will face a formidable opponent.

The Kettering cueist was in sparkling form as he sunk Ding Junhui 10-5 to power into the final on Friday night and Murphy referenced Wilson’s excellence in his post-match interview.

“It’s a massive, massive event,” he began.

“I can’t wait to play Kyren [Wilson]. If he plays like he plays in his previous match, we needn’t bother!”

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