Masters 2021: Shaun Murphy sets up last-eight meeting with defending champion Stuart Bingham

Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy won the Masters in 2015
The 2021 Betfred Masters
Dates: 10-17 January Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app. Highlights on BBC Two and online.

Shaun Murphy reached the quarter-finals of the Masters with an impressive 6-4 victory over two-time champion Mark Williams.

Murphy sealed his win with a superb 47 clearance as Williams looked poised to take it to a final-frame decider.

The Welshman had earlier fought back from 3-1 down and made two century breaks in an absorbing contest.

Murphy will face defending champion Stuart Bingham in the last eight after he beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-4.

Prior to the match Williams had spoken about the surreal nature of playing the Masters behind closed doors due to Covid-19.

However, once the action got under way there was a very familiar feel to proceedings.

Murphy's opening break of 93 met with a response of 108 from three-time world champion Williams and signalled the beginning of a high-quality contest.

A half-century break helped Murphy take the third frame, while an unintentional pot on the pink was followed by a magnificent long black down the side cushion to give him a healthy 3-1 lead at the interval.

But on his 23rd appearance at the tournament, 45-year-old Williams responded with another break of 108 on his way to levelling the match at 3-3.

That set things up for a tense finale, where the players initially traded frames before Murphy finally pulled clear.

"It is always very rewarding when you can step up when you have to and pot those balls to win the game," Murphy said.

"It's alright leading off with a 100 or a 90, everyone can do that, but not everyone can do that [under pressure] and it might make a difference at some stage."

Bingham holds Un-Nooh at bay

Earlier on Monday, Bingham was forced to hold off a spirited fightback from Un-Nooh before advancing.

At 5-1 up and on for a maximum 147 break, a Bingham foul sparked a revival from the Thai debutant, who reeled off three frames in quick succession, compiling breaks of 80 and 113 before the Englishman sealed a nervy victory.

Former world champion Bingham had made a break of 114 on his way to establishing a commanding lead.

But in the seventh frame the prestige of a maximum break, and the £15,000 in prize money attached, almost proved his undoing when the white went into the bottom left corner pocket as he tried to force a red into the left middle.

"Maybe I was a bit unlucky to go in off," Bingham said. "That gave him an easy starter and then the onslaught started.

"I was sitting in my chair for about half an hour thinking, what have I done here? A bit stupid or a bit mad, so it was lucky for me. I'm over the moon to get a win."

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