Shaun Murphy also made a break of 79 to win the second frame against Zhou Yuelong
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 22 November to 4 December
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Connected TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website and app from Saturday, 26 November. TV times and channels

Shaun Murphy said a change of balls was behind his 6-2 win over Zhou Yuelong in the last 16 of the UK Championship.

Murphy made breaks of 96, 110, 80 and 79 after the mid-session interval to set up a quarter-final meeting with Luca Brecel or Stephen Maguire.

The world number six has long advocated replacing or repolishing the balls regularly – a process he says helps avoid kicks and bad contact.

“When the balls go where they’re meant to, you get good games,” said Murphy.

“In the first four frames we were all at sea. Pretty much every third or fourth shot there was a kick or a bad bounce.

“It made us both look silly and could have been 4-0 either way. You just have to laugh about it when it happens.

“The new set of balls in the second session completely changed the match.”

Nottingham’s Murphy, who joined Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight, had also led 5-2 in the third round, against Welshman Dominic Dale, but only scraped through 6-5.

The 2008 UK champion was delighted with the way he closed out the match against the Chinese teenager – one of the game’s rising stars.

“I was very pleased my day’s work,” added Murphy.

“When I got to 5-2, I took my chance rather than being worried about ifs, buts and maybes. I put the demons of yesterday to one side.”

Five-time champion O’Sullivan beat 2003 champion Matthew Stevens in the afternoon’s other fourth-round match.

In Wednesday’s evening session world champion Mark Selby plays China’s Zhang Anda, while Hong Kong’s Marco Fu takes on Oliver Lines, who beat world number three Judd Trump in the second round.

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