Judd Trump completed the best fight back of this year’s Betfred World Championship so far as he recovered a 7-3 deficit to beat Liang Wenbo 10-8.
Trump looked in serious danger of joining Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and Stuart Bingham as shock first round casualties, but he turned the match around by winning seven of the last eight frames to reach the last 16.
Trump tweeted ‘Drinks on me later if I get out of jail here’ during the mid-session interval and it could be an expensive night for the 26-year-old Bristolian as he outplayed Liang in the closing stages, showing flashes of the form which won him the recent China Open.
World number five Trump arrived at the Crucible as one of the favourites for the title and hopes to reach the final for the first time since 2011. But he faces another tough Chinese opponent next, with Ding Junhui awaiting in what could be an epic second round clash.
Liang led 6-3 after the first session with top breaks of 117 and 107 and he won the first frame today with a run of 59. Both players had chances in the crucial 11th frame and Trump eventually won it on the colours to initiate his fight back. He came from 42-0 down to take the next frame then made a 106 to close to 7-6. Trump dominated the next two frames with top runs of 43 and 69 to go ahead at 8-7.
Liang finally stopped the rot by winning frame 16, and he had an early chance in the next but missed a red to a top corner on 9, and Trump punished him with 61. Trump made 55 in the next before missing a red, but he got back in and added 11 points which proved enough for victory.
“I played some good stuff today, my potting was good and my safety was good,” said Trump. “The big turning point came at 7-3, he had some chances and didn’t take them, and I took a lot of heart from that because I’ve seen him twitch in tournaments before.
“I think he looked very edgy from the start today and I got it in my head that I could get back into it and put him under pressure. There is a difference between getting back into the game and finishing it off, and I’m very happy about being able to finish off the job.
“I was very disappointed when I went behind in the first session, I didn’t play my best snooker, and that played in my head overnight. There was a lot of pressure out there, I’m so relieved. anyone who has supported me I will definitely buy them a drink.”
Trump went on to tweet: ‘Free drinks on me @GradSheffield from 7o clock just say my name… Enjoy’
Liang said: “In the first session I was confident but today I missed so many balls. I had a good chance to go 8-3 up but I missed and it’s very easy to lose concentration.
“This season I played much better then before. Next year I will try harder and will try to win tournaments.”
Meanwhile, the second round got underway with Marco Fu facing Anthony McGill. Hong Kong’s Fu took a 5-3 lead in the first session with top breaks of 87 and 54.