Masters Snooker: Neil Robertson/Shaun Murphy into final

Masters Snooker

Venue:
Alexandra Palace, London
Date:
Sunday, 15 January to Sunday, 22 January
Times:
Matches start at 1330 and 1900 (final at 1400 and 2000) All times GMT
Coverage:
Live coverage and highlights on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website; updates and reports on BBC Radio 5 live and this website
Masters finalist Shaun Murphy

Shaun Murphy reached his first Masters final after edging out world champion John Higgins 6-4 at Alexandra Palace.

Murphy moved 3-0 ahead but Higgins looked set to take it to a decider before missing a crucial final pink.

World number four Neil Robertson also progressed to his maiden Masters final after defeating Judd Trump 6-3.

Australian Robertson made only one century in a surprisingly scrappy semi-final, but sealed victory against his fellow left-hander with a 69 break.

Robertson took command against crowd favourite Trump, and built a 5-1 advantage before the Bristolian pulled two frames back, recording a 95 break in the process.

After Trump missed a straightforward blue to the middle pocket Robertson compiled a break of 69 to wrap up the match.

The 2010 world champion had been upset by cheers from the audience when Trump fluked shots but claimed it helped him to secure the victory.

"If anything it made me play better," Robertson told BBC Sport. "It's disappointing because Judd is a fantastic lad and he is nothing like those guys.

"I thought I played really well to go 3-1 up. I thought I played really good matchplay snooker and thankfully he missed a couple," added Robertson.

Neil Robertson

Trump's usually reliable long-potting game was letting him down, pocketing only three balls in the first two frames, leaving the Australian in among the balls, who in turn, was able to double his advantage with a 100 clearance.

It took Trump a couple of chances, but the Bristol man was finally on the scoreboard with a break of 76, including some exhibition-style shots which the crowd enjoyed.

But Robertson regained his two-frame lead with a controlled 89, and Trump had work to do to get back into the match.

With the young Englishman making uncharacteristic errors, Robertson was relentless, seizing his chance to extend the lead after Trump twitched on frame ball, a straight blue to the corner pocket.

However, Trump reduced his deficit to 5-2 after Robertson missed an easy red to the middle pocket, and after a 95 break he was only two frames behind.

But the 22-year-old's hopes were dashed when he missed the blue into the centre pocket and it was Robertson who went through.

Murphy now has the chance to complete the rare feat of World Championship, UK Championship and Masters titles.

He had three centuries and was 5-3 ahead before a late Higgins rearguard.

In the 10th frame Murphy looked to have made sure of victory after building a 55-point lead.

He missed an ambitious long red into the bottom corner and Higgins reduced his advantage with a gritty break of 48.

But the Scotsman's attempt at the pink into a baulk pocket wriggled out and across to the adjacent pocket, leaving Murphy a simple task to seal the match.

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