Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump is into the last 16 of the UK Championship, but it took an epic 6-5 victory over Xiao Guodong to get him there.
The world number three was made to battle by the Chinese star, and despite not really hitting his best form at any point of the match, he did just that and scrapped his way into the next round in a contest that took well over four hours.
Trump had looked good early on, making a 97 in the second frame, but made a number of mistakes as the match reached 5-5 and get very tense.
However, he showed great poise and quality in the deciding frame, making a break of 88 after a poor safety shot from Xiao, to book his spot in the last 16 where he will face either Shaun Murphy or Dave Gilbert, who meet later on Tuesday.
‘In the last frame when someone plays safe and the red goes over the pocket you can’t believe your luck,’ Trump told the BBC.
‘To get in like that with no stress and being able to pick the balls off.
‘I’m so pleased to get through. My record here is so bad. It did [play on my mind], my record here is atrocious.
‘I’m so happy to get through, I love this event, I love what they’ve done out there, it’s added the prestige again and I’d have been devastated to go home after the first game.’
The lengthy contest was scrappy at times but also had plenty of moments of quality, especially over the first four frames.
The score was level at 2-2 at the interval, with both players boasting a pot success rate of 97 per cent at that point, Trump with a high break of 97 and Xiao 118.
Things were less fluent from there on in, but it continued in the same vein in the sense that neither man could shake the other off.
The match went 3-3, 4-4 and then 5-5 after Trump had been 5-4 up and spurned a decent chance to win it in the tenth but missed a pink.
There was, understandably, an edgy start to the decider but Trump got in first and showed that the killer instinct was there well over four hours after the match started, making a break of 88 to win the match.
The 33-year-old won this event back in 2011 and is looking to add a second UK Championship to his collection this year, having lost out in two finals since his triumph over a decade ago.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
This post appeared first on Snooker – Metro.