The early frames were close before Murphy opened up with some quality breaks to close out the match.
"Job well done, a good start," said Murphy after the match. "It’s a long tournament though and it’s not how you start, it’s about getting in top four and that was a good start," he added.
Murphy took the opening frame with two small breaks, interspersed by a run of 51 by Ding and the defending champion had the early opportunity in the second but went in-off on 19 points while trying to make a difficult position. The long red went in but the cue ball followed it.
Ding then got to the table but broke down on 28 as he missed a red to the middle pocket and Murphy took full advantage to secure the frame to move into a 2-0 lead.
Ding came alive in the third frame as he compiled a break of 65 but he missed a cannon into the remainder of the pack and then missed a red to the top corner pocket with the rest. Murphy couldn’t hold him off though, and Ding rolled a difficult long red in that saw him over the line as he cleared to the pink to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
A cracking 124 break from Murphy, the first century of this year’s tournament and worth an extra £1,000, moved him into a 3-1 lead and secured at least a point.
Murphy, looking very convincing at this stage of the match, made it to 55 but missed a slow cut on a red into the corner pocket to throw Ding a life line. He couldn’t capitalise on it, but Murphy missed a relatively easy red.
Ding got to 31 but missed a sitter into the centre pocket and that gave Murphy the opportunity to take the frame and the match, which he did.
The final frame went Murphy’s way as he compiled a majestic break of 109 to cement an excellent 5-1 victory.
"Winning frames you’re not meant to is like a double whammy as it gives you a boost and it’s also what it does to the other player," said Murphy.
"The scoreline was flattering though as Ding played well in parts, but I’ve got to be happy," he added.
71-51 (51 Ding), 69-38 (45 Murphy), 0-128 (65, 63 Ding), 124-0 (124 Murphy), 86-31 (55 Murphy, 31 Ding), 109-0 (109 Murphy)
Marco Fu and Ronnie O’Sullivan shared the spoils with a 3-3 draw in a high quality encounter in front of a capacity 700-plus crowd.
The first frame got bogged down in the early stages and took over 20 minutes to complete and it was the Hong Kong-based Fu who took it courtesy of a 63 break. ‘The Rocket’, watched in the crowd by snooker pal Jimmy White, fired back in the second with runs of 76 and 61.
Fu edged the next with a run of 47 before O’Sullivan blasted the first of two centuries, a 119, to level things at 2-2.
Fu, looking in great shape, came back with a well worked 87 before another magnificent ton from O’Sullivan – a 103 clearance – brought the score to 3-3.
"3-3 is kind of a fair result as we both had chances to win the match. I played better and felt a little more comfortable as we’re playing more matches this year. I feel confident and hopefully can continue like this," said Fu.
"I played all right and scored when I was in the balls. Marco looked comfortable at the table so I’ve got to be happy with the point," added O’Sullivan.
4-70 (63 Fu), 137-0 (76, 61 O’Sullivan), 34-71 (34 O’Sullivan, 47 Fu), 141-0 (119 O’Sullivan), 0-87 (87 Fu), 103-36 (103 O’Sullivan, 36 Fu)
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