The main headline yesterday was that Judd Trump will be world n°1 at the conclusion of the tournament, overcoming Ronnie who sits now at n°2. With Ronnie only playing in a few tournaments that was always going to happen. Judd was at the top of the rankings before, last time in 2013, for a very short period of time. He wants to stay there much longer this time around and as there is a huge gap between him and the n°3, he’s get every chance to succeed.
World Champion Judd Trump will move to number one in the world rankings after beating Joe Perry 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the International Championship in Daqing.
The Ace in the Pack moves ahead of Ronnie O’Sullivan, who had reached the summit of the world rankings in March, ending the four-year reign of Mark Selby. However, Trump thrust himself into contention for the top spot by claiming a maiden World Championship title, and the £500,000 top prize that went with it, back in May.
This is the third time that 29-year-old Trump has assumed the world number one spot, with the most recent spell ending in March 2013. Next up Trump faces Tom Ford, who defeated Andrew Higginson 6-4 in their last 16 clash.
Defeat for Perry ends his hopes of qualifying for the Shanghai Masters. The cut off for qualification comes at the end of this week’s event, with the top 16 players in the world rankings earning a place. Ford remains in the hunt after his victory, but must win the event to stand a chance.
Trump produced a performance worthy of the world’s top player this afternoon, firing in breaks of 62, 101, 111, 74, 76 and 52 on his way to victory.
“It is always good to be on top of the world. Mark Selby held it for such a long time and it is nice to get back there,” said Trump. “Anyone that says they don’t want to be world number one is lying. It is always good to be on top of your sport so I am very happy with that achievement.
“When anyone asks you it is always nice saying you are number three or four in the world, but there is no other feeling like being world number one. I’m happy with that and I still have a job to do here, I would love to go out and win the first tournament I’ve played in this season.”
Two-time International Champion Mark Selby had to battle from 5-3 down to defeat this year’s Crucible semi-finalist David Gilbert 6-5 in a tense deciding frame.
His opponent in the quarter-finals will be Gary Wilson, who defeated Welshman Jak Jones 6-3. The victory for Wilson keeps him in the hunt for a top 16 place and Shanghai Masters qualification.
Scotland’s 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott also retains hopes of a place in Shanghai. He put on an excellent performance to defeat compatriot 30-time ranking event winner John Higgins 6-2.
Triple Crown winner Shaun Murphy will face Dott in the quarter-finals after he completed a thrilling 6-5 win over Neil Robertson. The Magician came from 5-4 down with breaks of 83 and 91 in the last two frames to progress.
Defending champion Mark Allen kept his impressive week going with a 6-2 defeat of Ali Carter. The Pistol has now won 24 out of the 29 frames he has played in the event.
Carter is left perilously in 16th position in the latest live rankings and will have to hope results go his way to earn a place in Shanghai.
Allen’s opponent in the last eight will be China’s number one Ding Junhui, who came through a deciding frame to beat compatriot Liang Wenbo 6-5.
There are a few players returning to form in this tournament and it showed again yesterday.
Maybe the most impressive is Graeme Dott, who always seems to be kept off the radars. Even as a World Champion in 2006/07 he was often sent playing on an outside table (!!!) Dotty is a massively under-rated player. People forget that he’s been a finalist at the Crucible three times, and is a former World Champion. He has a reputation of being boring and slow; he’s neither, he’s an attacking player who gained that undeserved tag because, for many in the press, the only occasion they saw him play, was the 2006 World Final, against Peter Ebdon. Both were absolutely shattered and pressure did the rest. Yesterday, he absolutely trashed John Higgins – 6-2 – in a match that featured eight breaks over 50. Greame’s AST was 21.7 sec, John’s was over 25 and nobody ever suggests that John is slow.
Here is the very interesting last frame, concluding on a re-spotted black:
MissingClip 2019 International Championship. John Higgins – Graeme Dott (final frame)
Shaun Murphy also is returning to his old self, no doubt mightily motivated by the prospect of losing his top 16 status unless he starts winning again. Both himself and Neil Robertson made some suprising errors in what was overall a good match and I suspect that the conditions are difficult.
Liang Wenbo is another one who is playing well again it seems. He came back from 4-1 and 5-3 down to force a decider against Ding. He was beaten 6-5 eventually. It’s never easy to play Ding in China, especially for a Chinese player.
Finally, Mark Allen, who had a poor second half of the last season, looks in great shape and very determined to defend his title.