Shaun Murphy and David Gilbert Shine in BetVictor Championship League Openers

Shaun Murphy began his season and the defense of his BetVictor Championship League title in perfect fashion, winning all his matches to top Group Three.

Last year, “The Magician” claimed the title in the ranking edition of this event, defeating three-time World Champion Mark Williams 3-0 in the final, marking the 12th ranking crown of his career.

Murphy’s new season kicked off today in a group with Steven Hallworth, Reanne Evans, and Tian Pengfei. He started his campaign impressively, securing a 3-0 victory over Hallworth with breaks of 100, 93, and 61. He then defeated Evans 3-1 and Tian 3-0, progressing to Stage Two after winning eight out of nine frames.

David Gilbert delivered a dramatic century break to narrowly win Group 15.

The Tamworth cueman faced Andrew Pagett, Xu Si, and Duane Jones. Remarkably, all matches ended in 2-2 draws. In the last game of the day, Gilbert faced Xu. They entered the final frame with Xu leading 2-1 and poised to advance, even with a draw, thanks to a 131 high break. However, Gilbert’s stunning 136 break secured top spot on the high break tiebreaker, earning him a place in the next stage.

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