Judd Trump will need a second round fight-back if he is to continue the defence of his Betfred World Championship crown as he is 5-3 down against Yan Bingtao after the first session of their best-of-25 tie.
Trump is aiming to break the Curse of the Crucible as no first-time winner has retained the title the following year, but he’ll have to win ten of the last 17 frames against Chinese ace Yan to reach the quarter-finals.
At the age of 20 years and six months, Yan would become the youngest ever World Champion if he goes all the way to the trophy, a record currently held by Stephen Hendry who was 21 years and four months when he won his first title in 1990.
A scrappy opening frame lasted 38 minutes and went Trump’s way, before Yan levelled with a superb break of 133. Trump regained the lead and made a 65 in the fourth, but his opponent clawed his way back into the frame and eventually won it by clearing from the last red for 2-2.
Yan reeled off three frames in a row after the interval with runs of 91, 42 and 93 to lead 5-2. In the last of the session, Yan had a chance to clear, but missed the brown off the last red when he trailed 67-37. A relieved Trump took advantage to reduce his arrears. They return at 10am on Friday for eight more frames.
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