Judd Trump produced a blistering display, as he came from 9-7 down to defeat Ding Junhui 13-9 and reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship.
Victory sees Bristol’s Trump secure his sixth appearance in the last eight of snooker’s biggest tournament. He will face Stephen Maguire for a place in the one-table semi-finals, which Trump hasn’t featured in since 2015.
Masters champion Trump has now levelled Ding at 6-6 in their head-to-head record. Both players are former finalists at the Theatre of Dreams and have been heavily tipped as contenders to be the next first time World Champion. However, it is Trump who remains in the hunt to break his Crucible duck this year.
Ding appeared to have the momentum at the end of yesterday’s second session, taking the final two frames to secure his 9-7 lead. However, Trump stopped China’s 13-time ranking event winner in his stride this evening.
Breaks of 93, 79, 53 and 103 helped him to take the first five frames and move one from victory at 12-9.
World number seven Trump then appeared to be in position to complete a clean-sweep of the frames when he missed an easy blue on 47. Ding had the opportunity to steal, but missed the pink when trying to force position on the final yellow. A safety battle ensued, before a mistake from Ding allowed Trump to deposit the yellow and clear to secure victory.
“I was prepared to go out there and fight for every point tonight. I went out with the mentality that I wasn’t going to lose,” said 29-year-old Trump. “Stephen Maguire is always going to be a tough player. Ali Carter is always going to be a hard game and Gary Wilson is playing the best snooker of his life. There are no easy games anymore. This is the last eight of the World Championship, so I’m going to have to be on my game from the very start.
“I can’t afford to start the next match how I have in the first couple of games or it will be a long way back and I’ll be going home. Hopefully I can play like I did tonight. I just need to stay calm.”
Ding said: “He played great this evening. I only got a few chances. In the first two frames I had some opportunities, but didn’t score heavily enough. He came back strongly this evening and looked very good.
“I’m going to spend some more time with my daughter now. She was born at the start of the season, and I haven’t had a lot of time with her. I’ll look forward to next season, but I’m not going to worry or push myself too much.”