World Champion Judd Trump got his season off to a strong start by defeating Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown 6-3 at the International Championship in Daqing.
It was Trump’s first appearance on the circuit since defeating John Higgins 18-9 to win his maiden World Championship title back in May.
The Ace in the Pack showed no signs of a Crucible hangover as he produced some scintillating snooker to overcome a valiant display from world number 80 Brown. Trump composed breaks of 93, 131, 100, 63, 100, 60 and 81 on his way to victory.
Trump said: “There is a big weight lifted off my shoulders now. It is nice to walk around as World Champion. That is a good feeling for me. It is important for me to do well this season. A couple of people in the past have won the World Championship and had a bad season after so it is important to get that confidence back.”
Defending International Champion Mark Allen got up and running with a fine 6-1 win over Peter Lines. The Pistol fired in breaks of 81, 52, 56 and 59 as he comfortably progressed.
Chinese number one Ding Junhui withstood a fightback from Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg to emerge with a tense 6-5 victory. Ding had led 4-0, but required a deciding frame to secure the win.
World number four Neil Robertson came through with a 6-2 win over 1995 Crucible runner-up Nigel Bond. While four-time World Champion John Higgins narrowly avoided a shock defeat, beating Chinese wildcard Wu Yize 6-5.