Judd Trump completed an emphatic 13-6 win over Stephen Maguire to reach the Betfred World Championship semi-finals for a fourth time.
Trump hasn’t visited the fabled one-table setup at the Crucible since his 17-16 defeat to Stuart Bingham in the 2015 semi-finals. This time he faces maiden semi-finalist Gary Wilson, who scored a superb 13-9 win over Ali Carter to get to the last four.
World number seven Trump will be full of confidence heading into that clash, having enjoyed his best season on tour to date. The Ace in the Pack secured a second Triple Crown title by defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Masters final. He has also picked up silverware at the Northern Ireland Open and the World Grand Prix.
Trump appears to now be producing the sort of form which has typified his season, after a slow start last week. He edged past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-9 in the opening round, before trailing Ding 9-7 in round two. However, the 10-time ranking event winner claimed six on the bounce to surge to a 13-9 victory over Ding and reach the quarter-finals.
Maguire, who now trails Trump 10-8 in their head-to-head record, misses out on a first trip to the semi-finals since 2012. This season has seen the Scot return to the world’s top 16 and avoid Crucible qualifying for the first time since 2016.
The damage was largely done in the opening session, where Trump stormed to a 7-1 lead. They then shared the frames this afternoon to come into tonight with 29-year-old Trump leading 11-5.
That deficit proved to be too much for Maguire to overturn. Although he did start this evening’s action with a 122 break to close the gap to 11-6. Trump quickly put paid to any thoughts of a fightback with contributions of 68 and 82 to claim two frames on the bounce and cross the line as a 13-6 victor.
Trump said: “It was nice to carry on from where I left off against Ding. It was good to be playing with no real pressure out there and fully enjoy it, knowing I had that kind of lead. I also knew it was going to be tough though. It was important for me to get over the line as soon as possible.
“My aim was to win with a session to spare. I was trying hard to do that, but I got a bit sloppy this afternoon. I made a few mistakes and it didn’t all go my way.
“It’s always good to beat anyone comfortably, especially at the World Championship. There’s a long battle ahead, we’re sort of halfway through the tournament now. At any stage in the World Championship, if you can win a match comfortably, it saves energy and mental energy to help get you through the rest of the tournament.
“I’ve always known that Gary Wilson was a good player. I grew up in the same era as him coming through. He’s obviously taken a bit longer, but he has blown everyone away this week. It is important that I get off to a good start in that match.”
Maguire said: “I lost it in the first session. He put me under the cosh and wasn’t able to recover. If you lose a session 7-1, it’s tough out there.
“I’m not playing anywhere near well enough to compete with the guys in the top ten or 12 in the world. There is quite a difference between my game and theirs. It is up to me to do something different and hopefully improve.”