Shaun Murphy thrashed world No.1 Neil Robertson 10-2 in the final of the Masters at Alexandra Palace to become just the 10th man to win snooker’s triple crown.
Robertson came into the final in imperious form after 6-1 wins over Ali Carter and Ronnie O’Sullivan but found himself 5-0 down as Murphy came firing out of the blocks.
The Australian won two of the next three frames as he threatened a comeback but Murphy held firm to complete the biggest winning margin in a Masters final since Steve Davis’s 9-0 whitewash of Mike Hallett 27 years ago.
“The first time I came to this great event, I would have been 11 or 12 and to finally get the win and the crown is unbelievable,” Murphy told the BBC.
“When I won the World Championship 10 years ago I thought I was going to blitz through these events but I’ve had to wait a long time and go through some ups and downs.
“This time last year I considered going away from snooker a bit but I’ve turned it around. I’ve got some great support, some great friends and family around me, and they all know who they are.”
Murphy won several scrappy frames as he avenged his 10-6 defeat to the same man in the 2012 final, including the first of the evening session, when the Australian was first in with 51.
“I remember a few years ago he nicked a few of those tight frames and they really hurt,” added Murphy. “I had a bit of luck throughout the match but in all I’ve played well this week.”
Murphy recorded two 127 breaks as he added the Masters crown to his World Championship from 2005 and 2008 UK Championship.
“The first session was very tough, being 6-2 down. It was probably a couple of shots that made the difference between being 4-4 and being 6-2 down,” said Robertson.
“Shaun played very well today, he played fantastically all week. I just couldn’t produce the snooker that got me to the final but you have to put a lot of that down to the way Shaun played.
“He was brilliant in all departments and I’d just like to say, welcome to the triple crown club.
“This is our second Masters final and hopefully, the way we’ve both played the last few weeks, we’ll have a few more.”
Murphy quipped in reply: “I’ve got to disagree with Neil, I don’t want to play him ever again! If that’s what it takes to be world No.1, I’ll stay as number 11!”
Murphy now joins Robertson, Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Terry Griffiths, Alex and John Higgins, Mark Williams and Mark Selby in having claimed the World, UK and Masters titles.