Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump turned in a spectacular performance to beat Mark Allen 6-1 at the Champion of Champions on Wednesday night, setting up a must-see semi-final with Mark Selby.
Allen was the man in form going into the match, coming off his Northern Ireland Open win and looking good in his opening win earlier in the day over Joe Perry.
However, Trump was superb, making one century and six half-centuries in the victory, with Allen knocking in a 103 in the one frame he won.
Stephen Hendry on commentary on ITV4 described it as: ‘As impressive a performance I’ve seen from Judd Trump in two or three years.’
Allen had no complaints at all and said that if Trump can keep up that level of performance then he will be impossible to beat.
‘He was just too good today, put me under pressure with his safety and long-potting,’ said the Pistol.
‘I didn’t feel like I played badly, I just didn’t get allowed to play. He was phenomenal. Flawless from Judd. Completely outplayed, all credit to him.
‘No disrespect to anyone else, but if he plays like that he can’t lose.’
Trump beat Luca Brecel earlier on Wednesday and then warned his rivals that he felt his best form was coming after some encouraging work in practice. It turned out he was right.
‘I know when I’m playing well in practice and it was only a matter of time before it comes out on the match table so it doesn’t surprise me,’ said Judd after the rousing win over the Pistol.
‘It also helped knowing how well Mark Allen is playing, I knew I had to play to that standard to beat him. It was nice to go out there and play well tonight.
‘They’re the games that I enjoy. When I’m the underdog, he’s had the good season, I’ve got something to prove and that’s when I seem to thrive.’
Trump and Selby now clash in the semis in what should be a superb battle, and one that we have not seen much at all in recent years.
The pair have played in short-format events, but not in a lengthy match since before the pandemic, when Trump downed the Jester 9-4 in the semi-finals of the 2019 International Championship.
The world number three is not getting carried away and knows he will have to play well again to oust Selby.
‘It’s only one game,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to lose in the semi-final next round. I know me and Mark Selby haven’t played for absolutely ages, so that’s a mouth-watering game to look forward to.
‘You’ve got to play well against these top players. Against the top players this season I’ve been found out.
‘Maybe I’m not match sharp enough. I’ve had to adapt it, play against more players in practice than I have done. I just feel match sharp and hopefully now this is the start of my season.
‘Its amazing to have him [Selby] back at the top of his game. He’s a bit in and out at the moment, waiting in the wings, like myself, to nick a big title.
‘Mark Allen, Neil [Robertson], Ronnie [O’Sullivan] all playing well. There’s a lot of depth at the top of the game at the moment.’
Trump and Selby meet on Friday night at 7pm.
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