February 23, 2024

Judd Trump reaches the quarter-finals of the UK Championship

Judd Trump advanced to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship with a 6-0 win over Jimmy Jones in York.

The 34-year-old was suffering from the obvious effects of flu upon his arrival at the tournament, but followed up his maiden 6-1 win over Pang Junxu with another convincing display.

Trump – who became only the fifth player in history to win three consecutive rankings tournaments last month – never looked back after starting with a 100-point break, marking the 950th century of his career.

Welshman Jones continued to punish errors, as Trump capitalized to take the third frame with a break of 59 before seeing another half-century heading into the break with a commanding 4-0 lead.

Although Jones built a potential chance to win the frame when he returned to the table, his run ended at 44 allowing Trump to close out the fifth before taking victory in the next game with a score of 84-0.

Trump has been a three-time UK Championship finalist, winning his singles title in 2011, and in his current form looks like a strong contender for this year’s trophy.

“I feel like if I can get through the first two rounds, I’ll be playing great and it’s going to take something really special to beat me,” Trump told BBC Sport after his win over Jones.

“A lot of other players do the same thing in all conditions, but my movement, where I face the ball and hit it a little to the side at impact, I have to get used to how the table is played a lot more to the side. More than other players.

“In the first game I was really nervous, but when I know how to play at the table, it becomes easy for me.”

Trump will face Mark Selby in the quarter-finals following his late-night win over Barry Hawkins.

Trump said before the Selby match: “I am full of confidence, but the opposition also did not stand up to me, which I don’t like sometimes because you overcome very easily and are not under pressure.”

“I know that in the next match, whoever I face, I will have to raise my level.”

At the other table during Wednesday afternoon’s session at the Barbican, Ding Junhui beat Tom Ford 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.

Ding – who has won the tournament three times and was runner-up to Mark Allen last year – opened with breaks of 126 and 110, but Ford responded with breaks of 118 and 98 to level the match.

The contest remained close as Ford struggled to stay in touch, before Ding edged out in the eighth frame and then finished off the win with a break of 106, which would secure his place in next year’s Masters.

Selby eventually came through a tense final decider that lasted almost an hour to eventually beat Hawkins 6-5.

After opening with a clearance of 142 – the highest break of the UK Championship to date – and then a break of 101, Selby looked in control at 3-1.

Despite this, Hawkins hung on after a 133 break and gained late momentum with two more rounds of 84 and 88 to draw level.

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Both men wasted chances to make a nerve-wracking decider before Selby hit a brilliant blue from the bottom pad into the top left corner and followed with a pink to win 68-57.

Ding will meet Mark Williams, winner of the British Open, for a place in the semi-finals after defeating his Welsh compatriot Jamie Clarke 6-4.

Clarke broke 128 in the second frame, but the veteran Williams produced a vintage display that began with 138 in the next frame and was followed by another century in the seventh frame before the 100-something was cleared.