Judd Trump beat Mark King 5-2 to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes Players Championship, where a mouth-watering clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan awaits.
Trump and O’Sullivan have already met in Llandudno, the Ace in the Pack came out on top of a classic encounter in the 2015 World Grand Prix final winning 10-7. The pair face each other for the second time at the Venue Cymru tomorrow evening at 7pm. Click here for ticket info.
King came into the match having only defeated Trump twice in their 11 previous meetings and he was immediately set on the back foot this evening. A fantastic opening burst from Trump saw him move 3-0 ahead, making a tournament high 132 break along the way.
However, the Romford potter, who won an emotional maiden ranking title earlier this season at the Northern Ireland Open, showed great resolve to claw his way back into the match. He won an edgy frame before the interval and upon resumption he pulled within one, taking the fifth frame on the pink.
Trump again moved two clear at 4-2, before making a clearance of 63 to get over the line on the black and secure the 5-2 victory.
“I think I’ve got the mindset to not fear Ronnie anymore,” said the 2011 UK Champion. “My record against him is as good as anyone. It’s important to get off to a good start against him.
“If I can beat Ronnie, it will stand me in good stead for the rest of the season. He’s the player to beat in every tournament he enters. If I can get one over on him so close to the World Championship that would be great.”
Neil Robertson produced a sublime display to dispatch world number seven Barry Hawkins 5-0.
Recent Ladbrokes World Grand Prix winner Hawkins had looked set to take the opening frame after making a contribution of 53. However, Robertson hit back to clear with 65 and snatch it on the final black. That signaled an early change of momentum which the Hawk was unable to reverse.
The Thunder from Down Under doubled his lead in the second with a run of 83. He then took another frame on the final black in the third, before making a total clearance of 123 to go into the interval 4-0 ahead.
They would only return for one frame with Robertson completing the whitewash. He faces either Ali Carter or Shaun Murphy in the quarter-finals.