Judd Trump secured an imposing 7-1 advantage in his Betfred World Championship quarter-final clash with Stephen Maguire at the Crucible in Sheffield.
Both players are competing in their sixth World Championship quarter-final. Maguire reached this year’s last eight with two nerve shredding victories, beating Tian Pengfei 10-9 and James Cahill 13-12. Trump also required a deciding frame in his 10-9 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, before a 13-9 second round win over Ding Junhui yesterday evening.
Bristol’s Trump has enjoyed his finest season on the World Snooker Tour to date. He picked up a second Triple Crown victory by winning the Masters in January. The 29-year-old has also claimed silverware at the Northern Ireland Open and the World Grand Prix.
Trump showed that form in this afternoon’s session, producing a dominant display. He got proceedings underway with a sublime run of 131. Further breaks of 67, 106 and 78 then saw him move 4-0 up at the mid-session interval.
When they returned Trump made it 5-0 with a contribution of 101, his third century of the match. He then made it 6-0, although Maguire replied by taking the seventh frame. Trump then restored his six frame advantage and emerged from the session 7-1 ahead.
They will return for their second session tomorrow afternoon at 2:30pm.
On the other table, John Higgins came from 4-2 down to level at 4-4 against Neil Robertson. This match features the only two remaining former champions; Higgins having lifted the trophy in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011 while Robertson wore the crown in 2010.
Australia’s Robertson is in arguably the hottest streak of form of his career, having won three ranking titles this season. He made a 58 clearance, from 55-1 down, to take the opening frame today, then added the second with a break of 91.
The next two were shared, then a marathon 56-minute fifth frame went to Higgins as he thwarted his opponent’s efforts to gain the snooker he needed on the colours. World number four Robertson got the better of frame six and had a chance to go 5-2 ahead but broke down on 45, letting Higgins in to clear from the last red and make it 4-3.
And world number five Higgins made a 73 in the last of the session to square the match. They resume on Wednesday at 10am.