Mark Allen says he would happily draw world number one Judd Trump in the next round after coming through an “awful” match with his ex partner.
Late last night Allen, 35, came back from 2-1 down to defeat Evans 3-2 in their first round clash and later described the match as “horrible.”
Indeed, there was no shortage of animosity as Evans snubbed Allen’s offer of a pre-match handshake, and the majority of a raucous crowd in Leicester’s Morningside Arena were vocally backing the 12-time women’s world champion.
When asked afterwards if there was any player he fancied in the next round, Allen swiftly replied: “Give me Trump, it’ll be easier than that.”
The 35-year-old added: “It was horrible. It’s not something I want to really go through too often, but we had to try and remain as professional as possible and i think I did that very well.”
Meanwhile, 2019 world champion Trump was also less than ecstatic after his first round match, despite fighting back from 2-1 down to seal a dramatic win.
And afterwards the 31-year-old was scathing about the state of the table.
“It was edgy,” he said.
“It shouldn’t really be like that in the first round, the conditions were just so bad.
“It’s frustrating because I come in and felt I was playing well. He let me in in the first frame and I had the biggest bounce you’ll ever see. It’s frustrating as a player, you put the work in, I felt good on a 30-odd break, thinking of making a century, settle down straight away and then I’m out of position and 1-0 down.
“In a best-of-five it could be 33 per cent of the match. There was another time the ball rolled off, in a best-of-five you don’t need that. I’m guessing it’s the venue, a little bit uneven. You don’t mind losing but you don’t want it to be to do with the table.”
Despite his misgivings, Trump did make half century breaks in the final two frames to book his place in the second round.
The remaining first round matches will be completed today.
The tournament marks the return of the British Open following a 17-year absence. It was last played in Brighton back in 2004 when John Higgins was crowned champion after defeating fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the final.
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