Judd Trump looked back to his scintillating best as he put in a couple of fine performances at the Dafabet Champion of Champions to win Group 2 at a canter.
The Romford-based potter now moves forward to the weekend’s semi-finals to battle for the £100,000 top prize in Coventry.
After coasting past an out of sorts Stephen Maguire 4-1 in his opening match, Trump then faced world number one Mark Selby who had earlier beaten Steve Davis by the same scoreline.
World number 11 Trump quickly went 2-0 up before Selby pulled one back. Australian Goldfields Open champion Trump dominated the rest of the match, winning the last four frames with top breaks of 68, 70 and 119 for a 6-1 victory.
“I am really pleased with how I played,” said Trump, who will now meet the winner’s of Friday’s Group 3. “Mark didn’t play his best but I put him under a lot of pressure from the start and he missed a few.
“Friday’s group could go any way but Ricky Walden is the form player there. Neil Robertson has been struggling a little bit apart from the first tournament of the season so it really could be anyone. But if I was to have a guess I would say maybe Mark Allen.
“Between now and then I will go home, have more practice, take it easy and watch some of the games to see how people are playing. I am really looking forward to Saturday now. I haven’t been getting through to the latter stages of many tournaments recently so it is nice to be involved.
“I have played some decent stuff this season but there are a lot of top players now and if you don’t play to the best of your ability you are going to get beaten. Today I played really well and my opponents missed some chances, which helped get me through.”
Selby was disappointed with the outcome and said: “A lot of the chances he had came from my mistakes – it wasn’t like he potted a great long red and got in. The frame before the interval turned it. I was 3-1 down but could have been 3-1 up. There were just a couple of shots here and there which I missed where I wouldn’t normally miss.
“I will have a few days off now and then get back to the practice table. The UK Championship is next for me, I am not going to the Ruhr Open in Germany because (wife) Vikki is expecting our first child.”
It’s the second year of the £270,000 event which sees all winners of World Snooker tournaments over the past 12 months compete over six days live on ITV4. The field is topped up via the Official World Rankings.
The afternoon crowd enjoyed a rare sighting of six times World Champion Steve Davis, playing on British soil for the first time this season.
“It was nice to play on a TV table and to play against the World champion,” said the 57 year-old legend after losing 4-1 to Selby.
“There are no guarantees in my position for how often you get to play against the top players. If you are playing in qualifiers you may never get to see them. It is great to play the top players because they are cutting edge and that is good to watch on the table.
“I had my moments out there and I enjoyed the challenge but when it came to it he made an excellent clearance from 53 behind and that is usually what the champions do.
“They are pretty solid in that department when they get a sniff. He put me to bed quite easily even though it wasn’t necessarily a 4-1 scoreline at one stage.”
Judd Trump 6-1 Mark Selby
67-53 (Selby 53), 77-42 (Trump 42, Selby 36), 1-86 (38), 75-0 (38, 37), 108-0 (68, 40), 88-0 (70), 123-12 (119)
Mark Selby 4-1 Steve Davis
66-8 (47), 41-64 (Davis 31, 32), 73-16 (68), 105-0 (32, 48), 64-53 (Selby 64, Davis 53)
Judd Trump 4-1 Stephen Maguire
82-0 (82), 106-0 (106), 103-6 (37, 66), 63-65 (Trump 55, Maguire 40), 101-0 (89)
Group 1 Matches – Wednesday 5th November
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham (13.00)
Shaun Murphy v Marco Fu (to follow)
(Best of 7 frames)