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Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump victims of giant-killings at Crucible

today02/05/2024

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Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump victims of giant-killings at Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump both crashed out of the World Snooker Championship on an extraordinary day of quarter-final action at the Crucible.

The two top-ranked players had been odds-on to set up a mouthwatering last-four clash but were dumped out by qualifiers Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones respectively.

Coupled with David Gilbert’s win over Stephen Maguire, it means three qualifiers have reached the semi-finals for the first time since the first year the tournament was staged at the Crucible in 1977.

Bingham, who went all the way to the title in 2015 but has since lost his place in the world’s top 16, pulled away from an increasingly agitated O’Sullivan, reeling off the final three frames to seal a nerve-jangling 13-10 win.

Earlier, Trump was punished for an error-strewn display by Jones, the world number 44, who turned an 8-8 overnight tie into a 13-9 win and reach the last four for the first time.

Trump offered no excuses after being lured into a war of attrition by his opponent, who is ranked second slowest of those who booked a place in this year’s tournament proper.

“I felt like I had a lot of chances and I didn’t take them,” said Trump. “I had more than enough chances today to win, so I only have myself to blame.

“A lot of the frames were quite slow and I got bogged down. His pace definitely affected me, but that’s not his fault. I just needed to get in and clear up every time, and I didn’t do that.”

Jones, who reached the Crucible quarter-final on his debut last year, is now two more victories away from becoming only the third qualifier to win the famous title after Terry Griffiths in 1979 and Shaun Murphy in 2005.

The Welshman more than held his own in the first two sessions and capitalised on his opponent’s errors when they resumed on Wednesday, to wrest control.

Trump’s poor performance was encapsulated by a missed pink off its spot in the 20th frame, letting Jones in for an impressive break of 61 that put clear air between the pair at 11-9.

A miss on an even easier yellow in the next sent Jones one frame from victory, and when Trump went in-off potting a red in the 22nd frame, Jones responded with a nerveless 106 clearance to finish.

Jones, who had never previously reached a ranking semi-final, defended his pace of play and said he detected early in the game that Trump, a clear favourite with five ranking titles to his name this season alone, was out of sorts.

“I thought Judd struggled quite a bit,” said Jones. “He started off with a century, just looking like typical Judd, but after I went in 3-1 at the interval I thought he was playing really slow.

“He wasn’t the fast-flowing aggressive player that he usually is. I noticed it from the beginning and it kind of surprised me, and I took advantage.”

Jones, who will face Bingham in the last four, now faces an even bigger task of convincing his mum Debbie to watch him play live for the first time.

Despite ferrying her son to matches since he first turned professional at the age of 16, she is yet to watch him play either live or on TV, and Jones does not believe the unique occasion of a Crucible semi-final will change her mind.

“She won’t even watch me on the TV,” said Jones. “At home now when I’m playing she’ll be doing the ironing or cleaning the house, that’s what she likes to do to keep herself occupied.

“She doesn’t like watching me, she pretends it’s not happening and waits for my dad to call her with the result. A Crucible semi-final is obviously a different matter and maybe she will come up, but she won’t come into the arena.”

David Gilbert capped a remarkable career resurgence as he wrapped up a 13-8 win over Stephen Maguire to seal a place in the semi-finals for the first time since 2019.

Gilbert will take on Kyren Wilson next after the 12th seed polished off a 13-8 win over John Higgins.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

Written by: Radio News Hub


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