Shaun Murphy the 2005 champion showed no signs of Monday morning blues, on the resumption of this second round tie with Ding Junhui at the Betfred.com World Championship.
Trailing overnight at 5-3, he leveled the match in rapid fashion with flawless runs of 72 and 100. His quick-fire start taking only 20 minutes.
Junhui, from the Jiangsu Province replied immediately to the early onslaught. Provisionally starting next season the world number one , he produced efficient efforts of 37 and 33 restoring his lead.
The fourth and last frame before the mid-session, was worlds apart from the treat the players had served up in the opening frames. Between them,they amassed 146 points in a frame lasting 44 minutes,an incredible 13 minutes longer than the previous three. This years UK Champion Junhui eventually sealed it on the pink 82-64, with 38 points being contributed to the Chinese stars' total in fouls.
Sale based Murphy who became only the second qualifier to lift snookers' biggest prize since 1979, refused to be dejected by his last frame loss.He went about his work in determined fashion, breaks of 64 and 42 reducing the arrears to just the single frame.
Junhui, bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in his career,was clearly relishing the task at hand.
Looking relaxed but extremely focused, he extended his advantage to two frames again.There were no big breaks but the now, Sheffield based player won it in comprehensive style 74-0.
Exchanging blows punch for punch, again Murphy fought back. Displaying one of the best cue actions in the game, he closed within a single frame at 8-7. He then completed his mornings work when sealing the last. Winning the penultimate session 5-3 and in doing so leveled the tie at 8-8, setting up what could prove to be an explosive conclusion to the match.
They resume this evening at 7pm. With both players requiring 13 frames to book a quarter-final tie against Allister Carter or Joe Perry.