Players Championship semi-final

Players Championship Semi-Final: Trump vs Robertson

Judd Trump and Neil Robertson will meet in the first of the Players Championship semi-final encounters on Friday evening in Preston.

The pair has accumulated five titles between them this season, including the World Grand Prix and the Welsh Open crowns in February.

Trump’s victory in the former came only weeks after his maiden Masters success at the Alexandra Palace.

The 29 year-old has looked like a reinvigorated player since and his obvious talent is finally starting to be substantiated by a strong B-game.

This was demonstrated in his quarter-final triumph over Jack Lisowski at the Guild Hall, when he fought back from 5-2 behind to prevail against his close friend in a decider.

Trump is now the front-runner in the inaugural Coral Cup series that is made up of this event, the World Grand Prix, and the upcoming Tour Championship.

Should he win all three, he’ll stand to claim a £125,000 bonus but first he’ll have to dislodge another in-form cueist in the form of Robertson.

The Australian has already prevailed in a brace of ranking events this season and his scoring is almost on a par with Trump this term, having compiled 61 centuries to the Englishman’s 62.

Robertson couldn’t muster one in his last eight triumph over world champion Mark Williams but it would be a brave man to bet against tons being a major part of this Players Championship semi-final affair.

Trump most recently clashed with the 37 year-old Melbourne man at the last four stage in London en route to collecting his second Triple Crown glory, winning 6-4.

The pair’s head-to-head goes back a long way and has included many memorable battles.

Trump inflicted the “Curse of the Crucible” on Robertson when he won their 2011 first round World Championship encounter.

A little over a year later, the Bristol potter edged Robertson by a similar 10-8 scoreline to win the International Championship and become a world number one for the first time.

Robertson has had his moments, though – notably gaining revenge in Sheffield in 2014 when he completed his incredible century of centuries in a single campaign.

There’s plenty to suggest that this Players Championship semi-final could be a classic and let’s hope it lives up to the billing.

Live coverage of the Players Championship semi-final is on ITV4 and Eurosport (Outside UK and Ire)

Click here for the full draw and schedule. (Times: CET)

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