Judd Trump is turning his attention to performing strongly in ranking events after winning his first-round tie at the World Grand Prix.
Just two days after capturing a second Masters crown at the expense of Mark Williams, the 33 year-old overcame Hossein Vafaei in Cheltenham.
Trump compiled a brace of century breaks in coming from 2-1 behind to beat the Iranian 4-2 at the Centaur.
“I’m very pleased – probably one of the best performances of my season so far,” Judd Trump told the World Snooker Tour.
“Hossein put me under pressure early on, and I knew I had to play well. I made quite a few good breaks out there, and I’m happy with the win.”
Reflecting on his triumph at the Masters, Trump hopes it will act as a springboard to further success in ranking events this season.
“It’s a little bit different (to his 2019 Masters victory) because the manner wasn’t as good, but I kind of won it in a different way.”
“There’s kind of a different aspect to it, but any win as big as that always helps. When you haven’t won for a while, it’s always nice to get one out of the way.
“After you win one tournament in a season, you’re happy and you can relax a little bit.
“Hopefully now with a lot of big events coming up as well, this is the right time to find form.
“I feel like over the past year or 18 months that, even though I haven’t played that well, I’ve still reached finals and still won tournaments.
“In the past, it probably would have been a spell where I wouldn’t have done anything, but I lost in the World final where I didn’t play well and managed to go one better in the Masters where I wasn’t playing well and won it.
“It does go to show that my safety has improved a lot, and I’m able to mentally battle a lot harder now.
“I definitely do (think it was my biggest win) because of how hard I had to fight to win that tournament – I think it’s harder than any other tournament I’ve ever won.
“As good as the Masters is to win, it carries no ranking points, so it’s always a little bit disappointing.
“I feel like I’ve been consistent in ranking events. It’s just every time I’ve got to the quarter-finals, I’ve either struggled or the opponents have played really well.
“It’s not been a million miles off and hopefully now, getting that Masters title, I can take that confidence into these big events.
“I need to kick on really, because you don’t want to be missing any events on the snooker calendar – especially one as special as the Tour Champs.”
Trump is provisionally ranked at number 11 on the single-season standings and needs some deep runs in order to guarantee his spot in the eight-player Tour Championship field later this season.
The Englishman will take on either Luca Brecel or Joe Perry in the next round, with that pair among those entering the fray on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s order of play also saw defending World Grand Prix champion Ronnie O’Sullivan safely advance.
The Rocket compiled breaks of 108, 65, 64, and 52 in a 4-0 drubbing of Barry Hawkins, while Ding Junhui matched that bagel scoreline in a one-sided thumping of Stuart Bingham.
Mark Selby represented the biggest casualty of the second day with the Jester out of sorts in a 4-1 reverse to Noppon Saengkham – albeit the Thai played to a high standard and contributed two century breaks.
Elsewhere, Mark Williams bounced back strongly from the disappointment of missing out on Masters glory at the weekend, compiling a hat-trick of tons in a 4-1 beating of Jamie Jones.
European Masters champion Kyren Wilson, British Open winner Ryan Day, and Scottish Open runner-up Joe O’Connor were the others to make it through.
World Grand Prix Last 32 Draw
Mark Allen (1) 4-2 David Gilbert (32)
Lyu Haotian (17) 2-4 Joe O’Connor (16)
Zhou Yuelong (9) 4-3 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (24)
Robert Milkins (25) 3-4 Jack Lisowski (8)
Noppon Saengkham (28) 4-1 Mark Selby (5)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (21) 4-0 Barry Hawkins (12)
Mark Williams (13) 4-1 Jamie Jones (20)
Ding Junhui (4) 4-0 Stuart Bingham (29)
Kyren Wilson (3) 4-2 Robbie Williams (30)
Shaun Murphy (14) vs Ali Carter (19)
Sam Craigie (22) vs Tom Ford (11)
Gary Wilson (6) vs Anthony McGill (27)
(Wed, est. 3pm)
Luca Brecel (7) vs Joe Perry (26)
(Wed, est. 3pm)
Hossein Vafaei (23) 2-4 Judd Trump (10)
Xiao Guodong (18) 4-1 Neil Robertson (15)
Ricky Walden (31) 1-4 Ryan Day (2)
Where to watch the World Grand Prix
Live coverage of the World Grand Prix will be on ITV Sport throughout the week, with Eurosport and discovery+ also broadcasting the event outside the United Kingdom.
There are other options available for viewers around the world, which you can view by clicking here.
Featured photo credit: WST