Trump Builds Lead Over Higgins
Judd Trump established a 5-3 advantage in his quarter-final meeting with John Higgins at the Betfred World Championship.
The showdown is a repeat of the 2011 world final, when Higgins won an epic clash 18-15 to pick up his fourth world title amid a sizzling atmosphere at the Crucible.
The duo haven’t played each other at the Theatre of Dreams since then, but it is Scotland’s Higgins who edges the overall head-to-head, having won 11 of their 18 meetings.
Trump produced a five-frame blitz to come from 9-8 down and beat Ricky Walden 13-9 in the previous round and he came out of the blocks this afternoon in a similarly imposing manner.
With the score at 1-1 and Trump trailing 57-1 in frame three, he produced a tremendous clearance of 58 to steal it on the black. From there the 2011 UK Champion compiled runs of 100 and 71 either side of the mid-session to move into a commanding 4-1 lead.
In a typically determined fashion Higgins dug deep to respond with a contribution of 74, before taking the following frame to reduce his arrears to 4-3. However, a break of 77 saw Trump take the last and make it 5-3 at the close of play. They will return tomorrow at 10am.
On the other table, Mark Williams and Ali Carter finished their first session tied at 4-4.
Williams is aiming for his third world title having lifted the trophy in 2000 and 2003. Carter was runner-up at the Crucible in 2008 and 2012 and now hopes to go all the way to the top prize for the first time.
Welshman Williams started superbly with a break of 135 in the opening frame, and he made a 60 in the second, only for Carter to take it with a 63 clearance. Essex cueman Carter went 2-1 ahead with a 126, then in frame four Williams cleared from green to black to level at 2-2.
A run of 84 gave Williams the fifth frame and he looked favourite in the sixth when he trapped his opponent in a snooker with two reds left. But Carter was lucky to escape and fluke a snooker of his own, and from the chance that followed he made it 3-3.
Carter’s break of 82 gave him frame seven, but Williams took the last of the session with a 68. They return on Wednesday at 2.30pm for eight more frames, then play to a finish from 7pm.