Judd Trump
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Judd Trump ‘Over the Moon’ After Close Victory

The world number one was pushed all the way as the defense of this title continues.

Judd Trump moved forward into the quarter-finals of the 2020 Betfred World Snooker Championship with a hard-fought triumph on Friday in Sheffield.

The reigning champion was tested again in his second-round encounter with Yan Bingtao but eventually completed a 13-11 win to advance to the last eight.

Trump was nowhere near his best for the majority of the tie as he struggled to match the highs that has seen him earn six ranking event titles this campaign.

The 30 year-old looked to be in big trouble when he trailed 5-2 early on, but he managed to win a crucial final frame of the opening session to remain in close proximity.

Yan’s form completed deserted him at the beginning of the second session as Trump capitalised to win six on the bounce and lead 9-5.

But the young Chinese competitor wouldn’t go away and fought back in the topsy-turvy tie to trail by only one on several occasions.

When the Riga Masters champion scored a 130 to reduce his deficit to 12-11, a decider looked to be on the cards.

Yet, Trump saved his best to last and duly compiled his 101st century break of a stellar season to survive the affair.

“I’m over the moon to be in the quarter-finals, you’re really involved in the tournament then,” Judd Trump said in a post-match interview with the WST.

“There’s a lot of top-class players involved so it’s nice to get through any way possible, and I’m happy with the break I made in the last frame.”

“Hopefully now, I can get a couple of days rest, a little bit of practice here and there, and really find my feet in the quarter-finals.

“I don’t think anyone plays well for all 17 days and every session, so there’s always going to be tough points and it’s going to be how you deal with them.

“Last year, I didn’t play well in the first couple of games but everyone only remembers the winner and how I played in the final – if I can get through the next game, the first two games will just be forgotten about.”

Meanwhile, it was a dramatic middle Friday at the Crucible Theatre as two other clashes ended in tight circumstances as well.

Mark Selby denied Thailand a first World Championship quarter-finalist in 23 years by constructing a timely ton in his final-frame decider with Noppon Saengkham.

The pair each played well during the first two sessions, but the third and final session became a war of attrition as neither wanted to give anything away.

Saengkham won two frames on the spin to make it 12-12, but Selby dug deep to set up a fixture against either Neil Robertson or Barry Hawkins.

The Leicester man’s fellow former three-time champion Mark Williams progressed as well courtesy of a 13-11 defeat of Stuart Bingham.

An entertaining encounter that mixed plenty of decent breaks with unexpected unforced errors finally went the way of the Welshman.

Williams will meet either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Ding Junhui next, who shared their initial exchange of eight frames.

Elsewhere, lowest ranked competitor Jamie Clarke continued his fine run by opening up a 6-2 overnight cushion over Anthony McGill.

Those matches continue on Saturday, while among the others in action will be Kyren Wilson, who finally makes his maiden appearance in 2020 after receiving a first-round bye.

Click here to view the draw

Featured photo credit: WST

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