JUDD TRUMP raced into his first semi-final of the season at the German Masters last night and admitted the prospect of playing in front of the biggest crowd of his life had fired him up.
The 'Juddernaut' dropped just two frames on Friday in beating former world champion Shaun Murphy 5-2 earlier on and then Michael Holt 5-0 in the evening session in Berlin.
That means he has now relinquished only three frames in the four matches contested all week at the Tempodrom.
And world No4 Trump admits he is relishing the chance on Saturday to taste the experience of experiencing a 2,500 sell-out arena for the first time.
The 24-year-old had grown frustrated after a series of disappointing early exits this term but showed signs of improvement at both the UK Championship and the Masters.
And after breaks of 61, 69, 72 and 72 against Holt he said: “I got on with it tonight and scored heavily, most of my games this week have been over quickly.
“I am taking on long balls and doing what I did a couple of years ago and feeling more confident. It wasn’t easy as the score-line suggested against Shaun.
“It’s about time I did well in a tournament, there will be a big crowd tomorrow and down to one table. I have played better since the end of last year.
“Now I want to get through into the final. It will be the biggest crowd I have played in front of, a cracking atmosphere and if I play well again I have a good chance of winning.”
Trump, who now plays Rod Lawler, is seeded to meet Ding Junhui in the final, with the pair in opposite halves of the draw.
World No3 Ding also chalked up two wins in a day, beating the in-form Joe Perry 5-2 last night to reach the last four after earlier seeing off Dominic Dale 5-3.
Ding is going for a fourth ranking title of the season, having recorded a hat-trick of successes last year in Shanghai, Delhi and Chengdu.
He will face the 33-year-old Ryan Day on Saturday, after the Welshman reached his first ranking semi-final for nearly five years with a 5-2 victory over China’s Xiao Guodong.
World No21 Day, three times a losing finalist and former world No6, said: “I have been struggling, a couple of years ago I was playing some terrible stuff – but things have settled down again and I have started playing okay again.
“Even getting to the semi-final of the Shootout last week helped calm me down in a big match for me. Playing here in front of 2,500 will be special tomorrow, it is probably the biggest arena we play in.”
Photographs by Monique Limbos