The Magician suffered a painful 13-3 drubbing at the hands of the Rocket the last time the pair clashed at the Betfred World Championship three years ago.
After a fraught week and bitter row with supremo Barry Hearn, O’Sullivan is chasing a sixth world title – one that would equal the tally of his boyhood hero Steve Davis.
But Murphy, too, has lifted the trophy himself at the Crucible in Sheffield and in what is always a grudge clash won their last meeting in Berlin.
Murphy said: “When he beat me 13-3, the scoreline didn’t reflect the match but during the game I just got too involved in some of the stuff that goes on when you play Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Shaun Murphy admits a match against Ronnie O'Sullivan is like no other
Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Murphy in the final three years ago
“Of course there is always a big build-up…it is a bit of a circus. But you have got to go through that rubbish when you play our snooker celebrity.
“And as we know with O’Sullivan it’s like holding a lion by the tail, once you let him go you are in trouble. But there were positives and positives and I was determined to learn from the experience.
“And what that all means is that over the same distance I am really looking forward to the test this time – and see how far I have come in three years.
“Hopefully I can cope better with it. Your Selbys, Robertsons, Trumps…none of them carry the same intimidation factor as O’Sullivan.”
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Meanwhile former world champion Graeme Dott was compared to snooker legend Alex Higgins last night after beating two-time runner-up Ali Carter 10-7.
After watching Dott pull out a series of sensational pots from lost-cause situations, Carter said: “He was like Alex Higgins at times, even when he was out of position he pulled the pots out.”
Scotland’s Dott who loves the venue and the longer matches, said: “I just love it here, If I played a home and away money match, I’d choose the Crucible over my own table.”