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Murphy heading to China

Shaun Murphy has sealed his place at the China Championship after coming from behind to beat Fan Zhengyi 5-2 in Barnsley.

Qualifying for the ranking tournament has already thrown up a few shock results and Murphy, who can be backed at 29.00 to win the UK Championship 2019, was in danger of becoming the latest big name to slip up.

Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham put in disappointing performances and were made to pay earlier in the week, although Murphy ensured he wasn’t going to suffer the same fate.

Murphy arrived in Barnsley full of confidence after finishing runner up to Judd Trump at the International Championship last week. He was possibly a little complacent in the early stages of his clash with Zhengyi as he fell 2-1 behind but his class eventually came to the fore.

The world number 14 went on to hit breaks of 101, 141, 83 and 53 to claim four successive frames and subsequently a 5-2 victory.

The Englishman finished runner-up at the event in 2017, losing 10-5 to Belgian Luca Brecel, and will hope to go deep once again.

Meanwhile, Graeme Dott was made to work hard to seal his spot at the China Championship, which starts in Guangzhou on September 23.

The Scot lost to Murphy at the quarter-final stage of the International Championship last week and he looked far from his best on Saturday.

The world number 21 was pushed all the way by Welsh teenager Jackson Page, ranked number 100, but managed to edge to a 5-4 win.

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