There were two unexpected outcomes to day: Graeme Dott’s 5-1 win over Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins defeat to Michael Holt. There were also two more unexpected scorelines: Sunny Akani beating Elliot Slessor by 5-1 and Zhou Yuelong trashing Fergal O’Brien by 5-0. Zhou had five breaks over 50, in five frames, including a 106 and a 127; his opponent was restricted to 82 points in total.
Earlier this year, Ronnie O’Sullivan became the first player to take his career ton tally into four figures. Trump’s brace of centuries today took his total to 642. At the age of 30, he is 14 years younger than O’Sullivan so has time on his side.
“If I can keep at the same rate I can easily get past 1,000 – I fancy my chances of that,” said world number one Trump. “It’s something to go for. I always go for centuries at the end of frames because it gives the fans a chance to celebrate. It might end up being one of the only records I take off Ronnie.”
Trump trailed Liang 3-2 in Yushan before winning the last three frames with breaks of 129, 61 and 105. In the last 16 he meets Joe Perry, who saw off Stuart Carrington 5-3.
“It was a tough game, we both struggled a bit,” admitted Trump. “In the last couple of frames Liang had chances. I just fell over the line. I’m not in title winning form yet but I have the chance to improve.
“Joe Perry is always a big hurdle, he’s always there in the later stages of a tournament. You have to be playing well to beat him, and if you do that you know you have a chance of winning the title.”
China Championship winner Shaun Murphy saw his hopes of winning back-to-back titles in the Far East end as he lost 5-1 to Graeme Dott. Murphy took the first frame of a battle between the 2005 and 2006 World Champions, before Dott won five in a row with top breaks of 57, 70 and 62.
“I played well, it’s nice when my game comes out now and again and I remember how to play,” said Scotland’s Dott. “Shaun is one of the form players so I needed a really good performance to beat him. My safety was good and I scored well.
“I am always working on my game and I enjoy that. You can’t be in the top 20 of the rankings in your 40s if you’re not developing your game all of the time. You need to win matches with your bad game because you can’t always play well.”
Murphy said: “Graeme had me in a world of trouble with his safety game, and when he got chances he capitalised. That’s how you play snooker. If he plays like that he’s close to unbeatable.”
Home favourite Ding Junhui top scored with 122 in a 5-2 win over Martin O’Donnell, while Michael Holt made a 121 in a 5-3 defeat of Barry Hawkins.
Kyren Wilson came from 4-3 down to edge out Hossein Vafaei 5-4, making a 104 in the eighth frame before taking the decider 61-17. Mark Allen compiled runs of 108 and 129 in a 5-3 defeat of Zhang Anda.
David Gilbert top scored with 110 in a 5-0 thrashing of Anthony McGill. Mark Selby – who beat Gilbert in the recent English Open final – saw off Noppon Saengkham 5-2.
Well, of course, Judd, you will “smash” it. You have potentially 26 events to play in this season… Ronnie had potentially 9 to play in when he was your age (and that paucity of main tour events lasted for a good part of his “prime” years). Opportunities over your respective careers not exactly comparable isn’t it?
The only match I had the opportunity to watch was Mark Selby v Noppon Saengkham. Mark Selby played well, indeed better than anyone else I watched in this event so far. But then of course I didn’t watch everyone, far from it.