Tempodrom, Berlin - February 1-5 2012
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PartyPoker.net German Masters 2012 Semi-Final - Stephen Maguire v Shaun Murphy
Former UK Champion Stephen Maguire was always tipped to be a dominant force in snooker but failed to live up to his full potential in recent years.
He managed to go one step towards claiming his first full ranking title since the 2008 China Open by whitewashing recent BGC Masters finalist Shaun Murphy 6-0 in front of a packed arena at the Tempodrom in Berlin.
Maguire got off to the best possible start with a 77 break in the first frame. 2-0 followed shortly and in the third Murphy missed a red on 52 only for Maguire to pinch the frame for a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth Murphy had a great chance to get a frame on the board after making a 65 break and leaving Maguire needing two snookers. He managed to get one plus a free ball and to clear up to the black to take a commanding 4-0 lead going in to the interval.
A long fifth frame eventually went the way of Maguire and in the sixth the recent PTC12 champion sealed the match in under two hours with an emphatic 90 break to win 6-0.
Maguire seems to have found his best game since reaching the Welsh Open final. He looks dangerous in the balls, produces top class safety and has made vital clearances when he most needed them, including a sensational break under pressure to dispatch Judd Trump last night.
'I was not expecting that result, I was expecting a close match if I had won or lost. To win 6-0 was a bonus.
'Right from the word go I made a 77 and when someone does that to you at the start your under pressure, Shaun never seemed to settle.
'Obviously at the frames go on it got harder and harder for him and he's just trying to get a frame on the board and I am trying to stop him.
'It will be a great final tomorrow against Ronnie, the atmosphere will be incredible. Can't wait.' said Maguire.
It should be a great match between O'Sullivan and Maguire tomorrow. Hopefully the three-times world champion will have had a good night's rest as he is still suffering the effects of glandular fever and looked incredibly drained after his match.
Predictions? I think it will be a close encounter between the two, but I would have to slightly favour Maguire to come out on top. He has shown he can handle himself against the best with his performances against Higgins and Trump this week.
O'Sullivan will need to get off to a good start in the afternoon session tomorrow, preferably winning at least 6-2 or the tiredness could get to him in the later stages of the match.
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