Judd Trump eased into the last 16 of the D88.com German Masters with a 5-2 win over Li Hang as he boosted his hopes of winning back to back titles.
All pictures by O.Behrendt / contrast
World number five Trump won the Masters ten days ago, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final, and maintained his momentum by setting up a match with Yan Bingtao in Berlin.
Breaks of 55 and 94 helped give Trump a 4-1 lead tonight at the Tempodrom. Li pulled one back with a 105 and had several chances to win frame seven, but it came down to a respotted black and Trump converted an excellent long pot to a baulk corner to seal victory.
“With so many tournaments coming up it’s important to keep my confidence,” said 29-year-old Trump, chasing his tenth ranking title. “I can’t afford to be careless, I need to keep winning as many matches as possible. The Masters was massive but there are no small events any more, every one I play in I want to win.
“Looking back on the Masters, it’s by far the best I have consistently played against that level of opponent. I kind of breezed through, I was always in control in every match, which is a rare thing in snooker. The final was one of the easier ones I’ve won and it was nice to be able to enjoy it.”
Defending champion Mark Williams, the only player to win this title twice in Berlin, got the better of China’s Zhou Yuelong 5-3. Welshman Williams made top breaks of 127 and 76 as he booked a meeting with Joe Perry.
“I was a bit ropy, a bit scrappy, there was a lot of snatching going on,” said world number two Williams. “But it’s a good win because he’s a really good player. This is a superb venue, it’s a close as you can get to the old Wembley Conference Centre.
“This is the time when I said I’m going to practise really hard and knuckle down. The only tournament I’m really looking forward to playing in is the World Championship. To be there with my kids, seeing me introduced as defending champion, I can’t wait for it. Hopefully over the tournaments coming up I can get some form going.”
Perry came from 4-1 down to edge out Sam Baird 5-4 with top runs of 52 and 57 while Yan Bingtao saw off Matthew Stevens 5-3 with a top break of 113. Stephen Maguire top scored with 118 in a 5-1 defeat of Michael Georgiou.
Veteran Peter Ebdon, age 48, scored an impressive 5-3 win over Shaun Murphy with runs of 69, 62 and 109. Kyren Wilson won the last three frames to beat Rory McLeod 5-3.
Robert Milkins recovered deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 to edge out Barry Hawkins 5-4. That result keeps alive Milkins’ hopes of qualifying for next week’s Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham. If he now beats Maguire he will go ahead of Gary Wilson into 32nd place on the one-year ranking list. Zhou, Baird, Li, McLeod and Georgiou are out of the running having lost today. For the latest on that race click here.