JUDD Trump set up a mouth-watering Dafabet World Championship quarter-final against world No1 Neil Robertson with a 13-7 victory over Wales’s Ryan Day.
The Juddernaut eased clear of Day after the world No20 had won the opening frame of the evening at the Crucible to close to 10-7.
Trump, 24, is looking to go better than last year when he lost to eventual winner Ronnie O’Sullivan 17-11 in the semi-finals.
There were certainly signs of an improvement on his first-round showing against Tom Ford during the contest against the 34-year-old Day, but Robertson represents a far stiffer test in the last eight.
Trump also reached the final in 2011 losing to John Higgins – and has played better since January after a dismal first five months of the season.
He said: “I may have to produce my best to beat Neil. In the past against me he has gone into his shell, felt the pressure and gone a bit tactical.
“But he has had an excellent season and will be a big favourite to beat me. The way I am playing people won’t give me much chance but if I play well I will be a match for anyone.
“Mark Allen may have said that even Ronnie couldn’t stop him, but that is just the sort of thing you say when you lose a game.
“Mark had a few chances early on, I watched the game. But take nothing from Neil. He is No1 on merit, and it has been a fantastic achievement to get within one of 100 centuries.
“He is still improving and is right up there with having one of the best games in the world.
“But I love being the underdog, I love people saying Neil will walk the tournament so for me that is perfect.
“I am pleased to get through, and my best is yet to come if I get a bit of luck. I am having to play my tactical game to get through, it is not as enjoyable, but it shows I can still win against top players.
“The centuries is brilliant – but it doesn’t win you anything, and he is putting more effort into than other players.”
Day: “I missed lots of opportunities. I missed probably three or four frame balls in frames in the first two sessions and that was probably the difference in the match.
“I probably won the race to 50 points in a number of the frames that I lost so it was just a lack of concentration on frame ball, not looking at the scoreboard and knowing that any colour would’ve done - schoolboy errors really.
“Starting tonight’s session I was four frames behind. If only I’d won two of the four frames I definitely should’ve won, it’s 8-8 and it’s game on going into tonight.”
Photographs by Monique Limbos