Judd Trump paid tribute to the “different energy” of the Alexandra Palace crowd this year as he crushed Kyren Wilson 6-1 to reach the semi-finals of the Cazoo Masters.
An elated Trump shouted “Come on baby!” to the 2,000-strong audience after wrapping up an emphatic win. With Ronnie O’Sullivan out of the running, Trump has picked up the mantle of crowd favourite and hopes the London fans will inspire him to a second Masters crown. The world number two faces Mark Selby or Barry Hawkins on Saturday evening.
“There’s a different energy this year,” said Trump. “We all appreciate everything more because of what is going on. Over the Christmas period it didn’t even look like there would be a crowd here. It feels like everyone wants to let their hair down, go to venues and see sport live and experience it all again. Everyone is happy to be allowed out to do what they want to do, and the players are feeding off that. There have been some incredible games and incredible atmospheres, the players are enjoying being out there.
“This tournament is extra special. The players are surrounded by the seats, we are in a bubble and it makes you want to play well. It’s hard to say don’t go to the Crucible, but if you’ve never been to snooker then this is a great place to start.”
Bristol’s Trump is through to the last four of this event for the fifth time, and first time since he lifted the trophy in 2019. Today’s scoreline could have been much closer but for two tremendous clearances which allowed him to pull away from 2-1 to 4-1. The 32-year-old has now won his last five meetings with Wilson.
Breaks of 68 and 74 gave Trump the first two frames, then Wilson pulled one back with a run of 71. In frame four, Wilson looked set to level the match until he ran out of position on 53 with four reds left. After a safety exchange, Trump ripped in a long red which set him up for an excellent 50 clearance.
Again in frame five Wilson looked in control until he lost position on 45, potting a red and going through the pack. And again he paid the price as the next chance went to Trump and he produced a fabulous 76 clearance – the last two reds were close to side cushions but he picked them off with ease.
Early in the sixth, Wilson missed a thin-cut red to a centre pocket and had to watch Trump score 67 to go 5-1 ahead. World number two Trump soon sealed the result in the seventh thanks to runs of 42 and 15.
“It was tough at the start, then those two clearances gave me control, the match changed after that. Kyren didn’t do too much wrong, he just didn’t get over the line in those two frames, otherwise it could have been different,” added 2019 World Champion Trump.
“I’d love to play Mark Selby next because we don’t often meet in big events. He’s number one, I’m number two, it would be great for everyone to see that game with us both somewhere near our best. That would be a great advert for snooker.”
Wilson said: “Credit to Judd, he was the better player. It was looking like 2-2, then he made a great clearance to go 3-1. The long red he potted to start that break, 95% of the tour wouldn’t be able to play that, which shows what a great shot-maker he is. Then he did it again in the next frame, those two clearances were massive. Hopefully I’ll get him next time.”