It was a rare case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for Judd Trump on Wednesday night at the China Open after his 5-1 win over Peter Ebdon.
The 25-year-old Trump, also the title favourite and tour man in form, is usually mobbed in Beijing along with other Chinese cities, and the subject of the most intense media scrutiny and interest.
But three of the last-32 games finished at roughly the same time, and there was a prolonged circus while home hero Ding Junhui not only addressed a packed and frenzied media centre with standing room only, but was presented with a birthday cake having beaten Mark Davis 5-1 on the day he turned 28.
John Higgins, who hasn’t exactly been begging to speak to the written press of late anyway, was spared those duties after a 5-2 win over Graeme Dott, being interviewed only by a CCTV crew.
And Trump emerged into the room with the cake still being cleared away and virtually the entire room of journalists disappearing back to their desks to get filing Ding copy before deadlines.
With the few remaining hacks though, Trump did a professional job of assessing his victory over Ebdon and last-16 clash with Higgins before leaving the Chinese media to get back to lauding their hero.