Judd Trump came through a blockbuster clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan, winning 5-3 to reach the last four of the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Llandudno.
Both players are used to facing each other on the big occasion, their last four meetings in ranking competition had been finals, with the Ace in the Pack and the Rocket winning two each. One of those clashes was in Llandudno, where Trump rattled off six frames in a row to defeat O’Sullivan 10-7 in the 2015 World Grand Prix final.
O’Sullivan was looking to reach the 65th semi-final of his career this evening, whilst Trump was looking appear in the last four of an event for the 7th time this season.
Despite the Rocket taking the opener, Trump dominated the opening part of the match courtesy of a brutal display of long potting. He made breaks of 86 and 113 on his way to establishing a 3-1 lead at the interval.
They traded frames after the match resumed, before a magnificent break of 109 from O’Sullivan kept the match alive at 4-3.
Trump got in first in the eighth frame, making 60 as he looked to put the tie to bed. However, O’Sullivan found himself at the table with another opportunity. He compiled a run of 31 before failing to find position on the final red. After a brief safety exchange, Trump made it and went on to secure the win.
Next up for the world number three is a semi-final meeting with either Neil Robertson or Ali Carter, who face each other tomorrow afternoon.
Trump remarked: “It was getting quite tough. If it went 4-4 it would have been an edgy one and he probably would have been favourite. I felt like I controlled the whole game and it was mine to lose.
“The main difference between us was the safety. Every time he came to the table he was in a bit of trouble,” said the 2011 UK Champion. “I played a lot against Ronnie in practice and exhibitions in the summer and I kind of got used to his game. I know what he is all about and that I can compete with him now.”