Shaun Murphy almost came unstuck in his World Snooker Championship first round tie against Yan Bingtao, with the 17-year-old forcing the former World Champion into a deciding frame.
Murphy admitted his nerves almost got the better of him, saying “You don’t feel this sort of pressure in any other tournament”.
He lead Bingtao 7-5 coming into the final session, needing only three more frames to win the tie. The Chinese debutant then produced a fine comeback, potting breaks of 108 and 94 along the way.
In a close final frame, Bingtao appeared to be pushing the frame into a decider at 9-8. However Murphy, in his fifteenth year as a professional player, potted a red that rocked the jaws of the top left pocket before rolling along the cushion into the top right. From there, he cleared up to win the match.
Despite the loss, Bingtao equalled the best performance at a World Championships by a 17-year-old, and was understandably upbeat after the match. “Definitely I was prepared for a deciding frame. I will only take positive things from this match.
“Today I felt better, but yesterday I was shaking like a leaf. I was not myself.”
Murphy will play Ronnie O’Sullivan in the next round.