Luca Brecel wins first ranking event with victory over Shaun Murphy
Luca Brecel created history on Tuesday as he lifted his first ranking title by beating Shaun Murphy 10-5 in the China Championship final.
The Belgian 22-year-old becomes the first player from mainland Europe to win a full ranking event.
“It’s amazing, a dream come true,” said Brecel. “Especially to beat a player like Shaun in the final of such a big event. Hopefully there will be many more to come.
"Shaun played really well to go 3-1 up then I came back to go 5-3. When I lost the last frame of the first session I was devastated because I should have been 6-3 up but it was 5-4. I went back to the hotel and had some food and I was relaxed again."
Brecel caused a shock in the last eight when he came from 4-1 down to defeat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-4, and he also had to come from behind in the final.
Murphy raced into a 3-1 lead boosted by runs of 55, 68 and 107, but Brecel bounced back to win four in a row to go into the interval in the lead.
Despite making high breaks of only 64 and 78, Brecel was always in control with Murphy offering only a 53 in frame seven and a 77 in the 12th frame as his strong start to the final petered out.
He opened up a 7-4 lead after the break with Murphy pulling one back, but from that point on he took control, winning three frames in a row to secure victory.
Brecel won £150,000 and belatedly secures his first ranking event after being one of the most promising players on the tour for a number of years.
“Luca fully deserved to win because he played much better than me throughout the day" said Murphy.
"My potting was bad, my safety was bad, my tactical play was bad, I just wasn’t good enough today. On the whole it has been a very good week, everything apart from the result today.