Streamlined Murphy Hopes For Masters Success

Shaun Murphy
©World Snooker

Shaun Murphy has embarked on a health and fitness regime in recent months which he hopes will give his snooker career fresh impetus.

The former World and UK Champion is looking forward to next week’s Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, where victory would see him join the small group of players to have won the sport’s ‘triple crown.’

Murphy has followed a careful diet over the past five months in order to lose weight, which could help improve his stamina and concentration at the table.

“I have completely changed my eating habits,” said the 31-year-old. “It has been a real education to learn about diet for the first time. In the past, my relationship with food was always based on how I felt. As a sportsman you are constantly up and down and that affected my diet. Since August, I have stopped eating things which I don’t deem to be good for me.

“I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, though I haven’t gone vegan like Peter Ebdon. I’ve given up fizzy drinks and I just drink a lot of water instead, plus I’ve given up chocolate. I’m just generally being healthier.

“Having done and it and enjoyed the rewards of it, I wish I had done this years ago. It’s not easy and you need motivation to do it. It’s really about having the discipline to make the right choices.”

Murphy hasn’t won a tournament since the 2011 Brazil Masters, but believes that he will soon get back to lifting trophies.

“I’ve been going through a tough time on the table,” admits the Sale-based cueman. “I keep coming up against players who play fantastic snooker against me and deserve their victories. There’s not much I can try other than good old fashioned hard work. I have improved the weaknesses in my game and I know that good things are just around the corner.”

Next Tuesday (January 14) at 1pm, Murphy faces a tough opening match in the Dafabet Masters against Ding Junhui, who has won three ranking titles this season.

But having reached the final two years ago, Murphy is excited by the prospect of chasing the £200,000 top prize. “Prize money-wise it is the second biggest tournament,” said the world number eight. “I didn’t have a great record in it until it moved to Ally Pally, and since then I’ve been runner-up and got to the semi-finals. I like the venue.”

The tournament runs from January 12 to 19 and also features the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, John Higgins and Judd Trump.

Tickets for the Dafabet Masters are still on sale, though many sessions are selling out fast. They start at just £10, amazing value for money. To book call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute, plus network extras) or visit