Friday, 4 February 2011

Swail surges on as Murphy bites the dust

Joe Swail advanced to a rare quarter-final berth this afternoon as he downed world number five Shaun Murphy 5-2 in Berlin.

The Belfast man played out of his skin to beat fellow countryman Mark Allen in the first round, but he was at it again as he put pay to Murphy's title charge.

After losing the first frame, Swail strung together a run of four straight frames to take complete control of the match. A break of 52 in the sixth looked like he'd blown the Magician to pieces, but after a brief revival, he eventually wrapped up the famous win in frame seven.

This victory is Swail's sixth in this year's German Masters after coming through a gruelling qualifying schedule, but he couldn't be any happier with his return to form.

He said: "I'm over the moon with that, it was another tough match but I didn't want today to be an anti-climax after the Mark Allen victory yesterday.

"I've played six games to reach the quarter-finals and I was just chatting to Mark Selby who is at the same stage playing just twice! But it's perhaps a blessing in disguise as I feel I gain momentum as tournaments progress and I'm feeling very comfortable in my game with no fear as to who I could face next."

Even though Swail hasn't enjoyed much success for a little while, it again shows how dangerous some of the game's lower ranked players can still be. Into the quarter-finals and with no John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson or Murphy, the competition remains wide open.

Also through to the last eight are Mark Selby, Graeme Dott, Marco Fu Ding Junhui, who will now all have their eyes on the prize.

Selby put an end to Stephen Hendry's run with a 5-3 win, while in-form Ding dismissed Peter Ebdon 5-2, finishing off the match with back-to-back tons.

Dott knocked out Hamilton 5-2 while the withdrawal of Higgins saw Fu bounce through.

My condolences go out to John, and all his family after their loss.

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