Judd Trump said he is high on confidence after he booked his place in tomorrow’s Coral UK Championship semi-finals thanks to a 6-1 win over Mark Davis.
PICTURES by Tai Chengzhe
By Mark Rawlinson
Trump has shown impressive form in recent weeks, notably in reaching the final of the Champion of Champions, and he’s two wins away from repeating his UK triumph of 2011 and taking the £150,000 top prize. On Saturday evening he will face Stephen Maguire, a 6-4 winner over Marco Fu.
Trump was quickly 2-0 up, winning the first frame with a 72 clearance after Davis had missed on 48, and following that up with a run of 58 in the second. Davis replied with a 58 break of his own to win the third but Trump ensured he led at the break with a run of 59 in the next.
Bristol’s Trump continued his dominance after the interval, marching to a 5-1 advantage with further breaks of 77 and 65.
Then in the seventh frame there was a chance for Trump to make a maximum, which would have been the second in less than 24 hours after Ronnie O’Sullivan made one last night. Everything was going to plan until he finished slightly out of position on the ninth red, forcing him to use the extended rest. He subsequently missed the red which left Davis the chance to nick the frame.
The Hastings-man looked set to make it 5-2 until he missed a tricky final black, allowing Trump the easiest of pots to clinch the win.
“I felt like I was hitting the ball well, probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt out there,” said Trump, winner of the Australian Goldfields Open this season. “I felt like I was hitting the ball as well as I do in practise – timing it well and really getting through the white ball.
“I’ve been working on my positional play and I think it really paid off tonight. A lot of the breaks I made were a lot easier than I’ve been used to in the last couple of years. I think my position is really starting to improve.
“Towards the end I missed the pink and missed the red with the rest and both times I changed my mind on the shot – I need to learn from that.
“I was really going for the 147 because I was hitting the ball so well. I felt like it was a good opportunity but I didn’t quite get through the white on the black to get on the red. I couldn’t really see me missing with my hand on the table but I missed with the rest – it’s a different kind of pressure when you’re playing with the rest.”
Glasgow’s Maguire, who won this title ten years ago, is through to his first ranking event semi-final of the season. He led Fu 4-1 with top breaks of 95, 66 and 113, before the Hong Kong cueman recovered to 4-3. The next two frames were shared before Maguire sealed the result in a scrappy tenth frame by potting the last red and clearing to the brown.
“At 4-1 I felt in control and fluent,” he said. “Then I lost the momentum and the pockets seemed tighter. Marco fought back and in the end I had to scrap over the line. Marco’s got a lot of stamina and he can be a bit negative at times. I felt I had to go for my shots otherwise I could have been there until 3am. I’m just looking forward to the one table set up and having the chance to get to the final. Judd’s safety is very good which a lot of players don’t see. I played him at the Champion of Champions and his safety had me in a lot of bother.”
Asked if he could draw on memories of his 2004 triumph, Maguire responded: “I can’t remember yesterday, never mind ten years ago. Back then I was fearless with no battle scars and the game was easy. Hopefully I’m still a little bit fearless and I go for my shots.”
And asked whether he felt anyone could stop Ronnie O’Sullivan, Maguire added: “I don’t think Ronnie is unstoppable, there are three other players left in who can beat him. Anthony McGill will be devastated not to beat him today, he could have won 6-3.”