The world number one rubber-stamped his place at the summit of the game by picking up his first UK title in front of a packed house at the Barbican in York and declared it was a “special and proud moment” for him.
But, despite saying a “result is a result”, he admitted he was still slightly disappointed he hadn’t hit the heights.
“It obviously means a great deal,” he said. “At the same time, I am a little bit disappointed with the performance but at the end of the day a result is a result. Shaun obviously didn’t play well either. I chucked a lot of frames away where I was 40 or 50 in front and then just missed stupidly easy balls and Shaun took out some good finishes to come back.
“It’s strange because, over the whole tournament, I have probably only played decent snooker in frames. I don’t think I’ve played a whole match where I played really good snooker. I have been poor in patches, and more or less amateurish, and I have had little spurts of a few frames.
“And here I am UK champion. It’s strange.”
He continued: “Don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon. But it is always nice to go out and put a good performance on. I have got to take a lot of confidence from this. I just have to go away and work on my game.
“The good thing is I am sat here UK champion and I know I can improve. There are some great names on the trophy and to add mine to them is something special.”
Murphy said: “It was never going to be a runaway victory for either one of us. It was always going to be nip and tuck. He was very clever and played some very good shots and that’s why he is the champion.”
On Selby’s achievement, he said: “I am very pleased for him. He is more than just a good mate. On tour he is one of my best mates and some of the criticism he has taken over the last couple of years has been very unfounded.”