• Murphy retains Paul Hunter Classic title

    Shaun Murphy is the first player to successfully defended his title at the Paul Hunter Classic in Fürth, Germany.

    In the final the reigning UK Champion wasted no time in beating Jimmy White 4-0 in front of a packed house.

    The first frame was an open affair for a long time with chances and errors on both sides, until Murphy got into a lead thanks to a 35 clearance to the brown.

    After that it was one way traffic. In frames two and three Murphy took the first chance to get amongst the balls, scoring breaks of 88 and 91.

    In frame four he made it all clear in his third scoring visit, sealing victory with another substantial break of 74. Also last year Murphy won the final 4-0, beating Mark Selby.

    “I had my chances in the beginning”, admitted Jimmy White after the match. “After that he was terrific and punished every mistake. He was the better player and deserved to win.” Shaun Murphy dedicated his victory to Steve Prest, his former coach, who passed away recently.

    The semi-finals did not produce top quality snooker all the time, but provided lots of drama.

    Rory McLeod was the surprise package of the event, beating Ricky Walden 3-2 before handing out 3-0 whitewashes to Mark Selby and Ryan Day on his way to the last four.

    There he seemed set to continue his run when he raced into a 2-0 lead over Shaun Murphy, helped by runs of 45 and 40.

    But the Magician found some magic with two breaks of 52 to make it all square. The decider took longer than the complete final. It came down to the final black. Shaun Murphy secured victory when he hammered a long black to the yellow pocket.

    Jimmy White, who lost last year’s semi-final to Mark Selby, booked his final place with a 3-1 against Joe Swail.

    The Outlaw won the first frame thanks to a break of 48, but White equalled immediately. The next two frames were decided on the final black. White made it 2-1 by potting pink and black. In frame four Swail seemed to force a decider after a break of 62, but White hit back with a 66 clearance.

    Besides the winner’s trophy and the prize money of 5,000 Euros Shaun Murphy also got another 1,000 Euros for the highest break. He made his 139 in one of his round robin matches.

    The special price for the best amateur went to Brazil born German Itaro Santos, who reached the last 16 before going out by 1-3 to Joe Swail.

    Santos wasn't the only amateur to make an impact on the event.

    His fellow Brazilian, Igor Figueiredo beat Tom Ford 3-2 on his way to the Last 32, before losing out to Mark Selby.

    Fourteen year old Luca Brecel, the current European Under 19 champion, shocked Joe Perry, beating him 3-0.

    Afterwards Perry admitted "He was the best player on the day and totally outplayed me. He's a fantastic talent, I can't really see a weakness in his game."

    A total of 180 players competed in the Paul Hunter Classic with 35 Main Tour professionals amongst them, headed by World Champion John Higgins and world number two Stephen Maguire.

    The World Team Speed Cup again was won by Wales represented by Ryan Day, Daniel Wells and Dominic Dale.

    In a replay of last year’s final the Welsh again beat the English team represented by Jimmy White, Mark Selby and Joe Perry. It went all the way until Ryan Day got the better of Jimmy White in the penalty shoot out.

    2009 Paul Hunter Classic Index