Shaun Murphy compiled two centuries in defeating John Higgins 6-2 to win the inaugural Sportingbet.com World Series grand finals at the Portimao Arena in Portugal tonight.
Murphy, beaten 18-9 by Higgins in the world final six days ago, appeared sharper from the off and highlighted his victory with runs of 122 and 100.
He receives a cheque for 50,000 euros for winning the grand finals following World Series events in Jersey, Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow.
“It’s always nice to win. I was disappointed to lose last week but the only tournament on my mind coming here was this one,” Murphy said.
“I’ve been playing well for weeks and weeks. If my safety game had been better I’d have competed more in last week’s final and I made an effort tonight not to try and go head to head with John in the safety department but to go for my shots and it worked.”
Higgins is co-promoter of the World Series. The first year has not been without its problems and mistakes but it has been effective in exploiting the growing European market and seven events are planned for 2009, the first of which takes place next weekend in Killarney, Ireland.
“It’s been great,” he said. “Hopefully this is just the start and we can look forward to taking snooker to more countries where it’s new.”
The first match in Portugal attracted around five spectators. The final had close to 350, many of whom queued up for autographs at the end, and their appreciation for the sport is a sign that something has been started here that can lead to expansion in the years to come.