Snooker: Trump survives Masters scare
PUBLISHED: 08:15 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:15 16 January 2018
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He may not like it but Judd Trump has something in common with the American president who shares his surname – both know how to survive a crisis.
The left-hander, who plays out of the Grove in Romford, moaned that United States Commander-in-chief Donald was giving him a bad name before his Dafabet Masters first round match, but in the end he needed to strap in and survive.
Trump was serenely coasting through to the quarter-finals when opponent Liang Wenbo gave him an almighty fright by winning three frames on the bounce to set the nerves jangling.
With the bit between his teeth and his cue flowing smoothly, Liang looked likely to take the match to a decider, in which he would have held all the momentum, before Trump battled through with a gutsy 85 to get over the line 6-4.
Yet the 28-year-old insists he did not feel the pressure and felt relaxed throughout an enthralling match at the Alexandra Palace.
“You can put yourself under as much pressure as you want to and I missed a ball when 5-3 up but I don’t think I did much wrong,” he said.
“I took my chance in the last. I played a good safety and he potted a long red, left himself a tricky green which I think he has to go for but he did not make it and I got over the line.
“He started to pot a few towards the end but it was important to go out and relax and I made a good break.
“I think he did play quite tactically, in the first half of the game he left a lot on the cushion and avoided going for some big shots.
“He played negatively and I did not expect that but it went in my favour I think.”
Trump and Liang shared the first two frames but the world number three quickly took control and won four on the bounce thanks to breaks of 83, 72 and 58 to move within a frame of victory.
Liang, who is based in Leytonstone, surprisingly turned on the style and hit back to make two centuries and close within one, but Trump took his chance in the 10th frame and rounded off the match in style.
He will now face either Shaun Murphy or Ali Carter in the quarter-finals, in what will be just the fourth time he has competed at this stage of snooker’s second biggest tournament.
“I think it is tough here, every time you win it is a good result. I think I will have to go and improve ahead of the next game and hopefully I can get to the semis,” he added.
“I think the atmosphere here is great. You don’t want to go out early but you have to treat it the same if you were in China, Germany or here.”
*Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Neil Robertson, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.