Murphy: Only the title will do

Shaun Murphy waves to the crowd after beating Marcus Campbell during their first round match during the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 17, 2011. See PA Story: SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.
Shaun Murphy waves to the crowd after beating Marcus Campbell during their first round match during the Betfred.com World Snooker Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 17, 2011. See PA Story: SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Gareth Copley/PA Wire.

Shaun Murphy insists that only the first prize will satisfy him at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

The former Rotherham-based cueman lifted the trophy in 2005, beating Matthew Stevens 18-16 in the final to become the second youngest ever Crucible champion at the age of 22.

Murphy reached the final again in 2009, losing to John Higgins, and has no has no doubt about his target this time.

“It’s great getting to the semis or the final at Sheffield,” he said. “But at this stage of my career, having won it before and held a few other titles, I’m only in it to win it. Anything else would be a disappointment.”

Murphy has been in excellent form recently, winning the PartyCasino.com Players Tour Championship Grand Finals and reaching the semis of the Bank of Beijing China Open.

“I’ve had doubts about my game during the season, but I’ve kept the faith and come good at the right time,” said the World No 6. “I actually don’t think that form is that important going into the World Championship – you’ve just got to get past your first match then play your way into it. The winner will be the player who copes best with all the twists and turns you go through over 17 days.

“The days when all of the seeds were expected to win their first round matches are gone. All of the qualifiers are very good players. I love the event and every time it finishes I feel as if I can’t wait until next year, so I’m determined to have a good run in it this time,” he added.

Murphy beat Scotland’s Marcus Campbell in the first round and now faces a showdown against fellow world champion, Ronnie O’Sullivan - the match starts on Saturday. The controversial O’Sullivan has struggled with personal problems and even pulled out of the World Championships 12 days ago only to do a U-turn before he put the decision in writing.

He hadn’t won a match at a ranking event since September and had crashed out in the first round of the last four major tournaments but he returned to winning ways at the Crucible with a 10-2 first round win over Dominic Dale, with a little help from a doctor nicknamed the ‘brain mechanic’.

O’Sullivan said sessions with sports psychiatrist Dr Steven Peters were the ‘last throw of the dice’ to revive his career.

“I enjoyed the match against dominic as much as I did the first time I played at the Crucible,” he said. “I didn’t want it to end, I wanted to keep playing.

“The most important thing for me is to want to be out there. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, that’s just part of sport. I love the game but I’ve suffered with it. I’ve tried coaches and psychologists and this is the last throw of the dice. I’m looking forward to the next match.”