Judd Trump made a superb start to his Betfred World Championship semi-final with Mark Williams, emerging from the opening session with an imposing 7-1 advantage.
The Ace in the Pack is playing in his fifth Crucible semi-final and appears to have been inspired by competing on the sport’s biggest stage, following a season of ups and downs. For much of the campaign Trump had gone without ranking silverware, but he rectified that last month by winning the inaugural Turkish Masters.
Trump is aiming for a second World Championship title, having claimed his maiden Crucible crown back in 2019. The 23-time ranking event winner faced John Higgins in the title match on that occasion and stormed to a comprehensive 18-9 victory.
Welshman Williams is competing in his seventh Crucible semi-final. The three-time World Champion won his first two titles at the Theatre of Dreams in 2000 and 2003 and then faced a 15-year wait for a third victory. He eventually recaptured Crucible glory in 2018, beating Higgins 18-16 in an epic final.
Trump clinched his place in this year’s last four with a fightback victory against Stuart Bingham in the quarters, where he took eight frames on the bounce to win 13-8 from 8-5 down. Williams came through a thrilling clash with China’s Yan Bingtao, composing breaks of 66 and 78 in the last two frames to win 13-11.
The first frame this afternoon was an edgy one as both players found their feet, but after 31-minutes of play, it was Trump who eventually took it. The 32-year-old then added the second and third frames to lead 3-0. Williams claimed an important last frame before the interval to stay in touch at 3-1.
The pair played out a fragmented frame when play resumed. Trump took it, despite failing to register a break above 22, to extend his lead to 4-1. The Bristolian then crafted breaks of 54, 62 and 53 to make it four on the bounce and ensure he ended the session six in front at 7-1.
They return for the second session of this best of 33 match tomorrow at 10am.