Judd Trump made a strong start to the defence of his Bank of Beijing China Open title as he made three centuries in a 5-0 whitewash of Jason Weston.
Trump has been snooker’s form player in recent weeks having won the Players Championship as well as reaching the final of the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open.
And the world number two from Bristol looked in the mood to reach a fourth consecutive ranking final as he fired runs of 102, 83, 122 and 135 against Weston, taking just 72 minutes to set up a last 64 meeting with Ashley Hugill.
“I feel as if I have improved while a lot of players have stayed still ” said Trump on his recent form. “I still have a lot of room for improvement while other players have hit their peak. I’m going to get better every year as long as I keep working hard. I feel my consistency has reached a certain level and I don’t think it can dip before the World Championship.”
Shaun Murphy also made three centuries in a 5-2 win over Allan Taylor, knocking in 89, 101, 101 and 104. World number two Stuart Bingham came through a tough test against Welsh Open semi-finalist Scott Donaldson, winning 5-3 with a top run of 96.
Jimmy White saw off wild card Li Yuan 5-1 with top breaks of 75, 50 and 61. Veteran White, who needs a strong finish to the season in order to keep his tour card, now faces Michael Holt.
“Every match is big for me because I’m trying to stay on tour,” said the 54-year-old, who hopes to gain one of eight tour cards available from the one-year ranking list, for players outside the official top 64. “The World Championship qualifiers next week will be massive. I’m ninth on the one-year list and I need top eight. There are so many players close to each other on that list so the first round in the World will be huge. (Betfred World qualifiers ticket details – click here)
“If I can get a run going here in China I can head into next week with confidence. I feel I’m playing well, I’m enjoying practising and if I can take that form to the match table I could win the tournament.”
Iran’s Hossein Vafaei scored an impressive 5-2 win over Joe Perry with a top break of 69. That result means Perry is out of the top 16 and will have to qualify for the Crucible – for more about that race click here.
Liang Wenbo top scored with 71 in a 5-0 win over Itaro Santos, while Michael White made 101, 118 and 135 in a 5-3 defeat of Yu Delu. All results