Judd Trump saw off Ashley Carty 5-1 to make the semi-finals of the BetVictor European Masters in Nuremberg, where he will face a blockbuster clash with John Higgins tomorrow.
The Ace in the Pack is aiming to secure a first piece of ranking silverware in over a year if he can claim the title this weekend, with his last ranking win coming at the 2022 Turkish Masters.
Trump has enjoyed fantastic success against tomorrow’s opponent Higgins in recent times. He has won seven of their last eight meetings, dating back to his victory in the 2019 World Championship final. However, Higgins did get the better of their most recent encounter at the Hong Kong Masters last season.
Defeat for Carty draws the best week of his career so far to a close. The Rotherham cueman regained professional status last season by winning the Q Tour Playoffs. His run here in Nuremberg has seen him make the quarter-finals of a professional event for the first time in his career.
Breaks of 68 and 113 helped Trump secure victory this afternoon. He is eagerly looking forward to what is set to be a showpiece meeting with Higgins tomorrow.
“It is always an incredible occasion against him and always a game I cherish. We played each other a couple of weeks ago in China and it is something I always get up for. The games always seem to be pretty close. Whoever plays their best snooker normally comes out on top and it is always a great standard. Some of the best games I’ve ever been involved with have been against him and probably some of the best of all time. I think he enjoys me and I enjoy playing him,” said 34-year-old Trump.
“Something that I have learned from being a professional for so long is that you feel you have a lot of time and a lot of tournaments, but you really haven’t. If you lose your first couple of games then nine times out of ten it will dictate the whole season. Often it is the other way round and you have a good season if you get a good start. So much is down to the first couple of events and getting that confidence early on. It is nice to get off to a good start.”
Higgins secured his passage through thanks to a narrow 5-3 defeat of defending champion Kyren Wilson. The Wizard of Wishaw has now won all of the last four meetings between the pair.
Despite losing the opener, Scotland’s four-time World Champion Higgins composed breaks of 105, 74 and 52 as he took the next three frames to lead 3-1 at the mid-session.
When play resumed Wilson clawed his way back into contention to trail by one at 4-3, but Higgins closed out the tie in style with 118 to run out a 5-3 victor.