World Snooker Championship: Judd Trump seals routine win, Shaun Murphy trails Mark Davis


Judd Trump
Judd Trump
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

World number one Judd Trump strolled into the second round of the World Championship with a routine 10-4 win over qualifier Liam Highfield.

The 2019 champion resumed with a 7-2 advantage and continued his good form with breaks of 51, 50 and 84 helping stretch his lead to 9-3.

A stunning 138 by Stoke-based Highfield prolonged the match, but Trump’s eighth score of more than 50 sealed victory.

“I got off to a good start and was always in control,” Trump, 31, said.

“I missed the odd ball here and there but I played some good stuff and it was comfortable in the end.”

Trump has already won five ranking events this season and says the key to remaining successful is “playing with freedom”.

“This year I have tried to approach it by enjoying myself, going for difficult balls and not being too critical,” he added. “There’s absolutely no pressure. If I win, I win, if I don’t, I don’t. It’s about playing snooker with a smile on my face.”

Bristolian Trump, who faces Dave Gilbert in the last 16, is now assured of remaining as world number one at the end of the season, no matter what happens for the rest of the tournament.

Another former champion, three-time winner Mark Selby, was in majestic form in taking an 8-1 lead over Kurt Maflin.

Leicester’s Selby, 37, scored two centuries, including a Crucible high score of 142 at this year’s event, and made six further breaks of more than 50.

The match plays to a finish on Thursday afternoon, with the winner set to face Mark Allen.

Work to do for Murphy

Shaun Murphy (left) and Mark Davis
Shaun Murphy (left) was the last player to win the World Championship as a qualifier, a feat he achieved in 2005

The morning session ended with 2005 champion Shaun Murphy trailing veteran Mark Davis 5-4 at the end of a tight opening to their match.

Ninth seed Murphy pinched the first frame after Davis, 48, missed a long red on a break of 56.

Davis, back at the Crucible for the 12th time in his career, scored three further half-centuries to build a 5-3 lead, but Murphy finished with a ton.

Three-time winner Mark Williams leads 27-year-old debutant Sam Craigie 5-4.

World number 51 Craigie settled impressively, scoring a break of 74 in frame one.

But after slipping further behind, Welshman Williams – the surprise champion in 2018 – won five of the next six frames, scoring breaks of 76, 52 and 85 along the way.

However, Newcastle’s Craigie made a break of 70 to ensure he only trailed by one after the opening session.

Still to come

Williams against Craigie plays to a finish on Wednesday, as does an all-English encounter between Barry Hawkins against Matthew Selt.

Hawkins, a five-time Crucible semi-finalist and the 2013 runner-up, leads qualifier Selt 6-3 after their first session.

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