Shaun Murphy edges closer to the first back-to-back tournament success of the year

It will be the first time Murphy has won consecutive tournaments if he is successful in Manchester this weekend.

Shaun Murphy edges closer to the first back-to-back tournament success of the year
The Magician has now won seven consecutive matches (photo: Getty Images)

World number four Shaun Murphy continued his fine form as he reached the quarter-finals of the Players' Championship with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Dominic Dale on Thursday evening. 

Ding Junhui continues his excellent form

Murphy, who won the World Grand Prix at the start of the month, was excellent against the Welshman, as he compiled breaks above 70 in all four of his frame victories. The Magician faces Ben Woollaston in the next round, who edged past Matthew Selt in another nervy performance. 

The afternoon session begins with Ding Junhui taking on Barry Hawkins in an intriguing encounter. Ding recorded the first 4-0 of the tournament, whilst also producing the highest break of the week with a 143, against Michael White. In contrast his opponent, Barry Hawkins, only just saw off Robert Milkins, with a 68-52 victory in the decider after the pair spent the evening exchanging frames. 

Carter shocks Trump in the second round

Ali Carter produced one of the performances of the second round as he defeated Judd Trump 4-1, winning three frames in a row without conceding a point against the Championship League winner. He takes on Ricky Walden in the quarter-finals who came to life at 2-2 against Marco Fu, winning the last two frames after a comeback in the fifth to see him through. 

Ali Carter upsets the form book to see off Judd Trump | Photo: worldsnooker.com
Ali Carter upsets the form book to see off Judd Trump | Photo: worldsnooker.com

The last eight line-up is completed by Mark Allen and Mike Dunn. Allen defeated Mark King 4-2 with a 119 break in the final frame, whilst world number 40 Dunn shocked the man ranked 20 places above him, Ryan Day, with the same scoreline.

The crowd at Event City in Manchester will be treated to some excellent snooker, as a wide open competition continues with all four matches being played on the one table in succession. The smart money is on Shaun Murphy but all eight players will fancy their chances of become PTC champion.