Day 6 at the 2023 World Grand Prix … and elsewhere

There was only one match played in Cheltenham yesterday, the second semi-final at the 2023 World Grand Prix and it was won by Judd Trump who beat Shaun Murphy by 6-2. I was expecting a much closer match, but Shaun missed too many balls you would expect him to get more often than not. In an honest admission on social media, Shaun explained that not having won much in recent times is affecting his confidence and that he cracked under the pressure yesterday.

Here is the report by WST:

Trump Sets Up Allen Showdown

Recently crowned Masters champion Judd Trump is through to the 37th ranking final of his career, after beating Shaun Murphy 6-2 in the last four of the Duelbits World Grand Prix in Cheltenham.

The Ace in the Pack now faces a blockbuster title match against player of the season so far Mark Allen, who himself has picked up tournament wins at the Northern Ireland Open and the UK Championship. They will do battle over the best of 19 frames for a top prize of £100,000.

Bristolian Trump will enjoy a strong local support tomorrow, when he will be aiming to capture a title for the second consecutive week. He won an epic Masters final with Mark Williams 10-8 last Sunday. However, 2019 World Champion Trump knows he will have to be on his game again, with Allen leading the head-to-head record between the pair 12-11.

Regardless of the outcome in the final, Trump will move into the top eight of the one-year list thanks to the minimum £40,000 prize on offer tomorrow. That puts him in position to qualify for the remaining events in the Duelbits Series. Only the best 16 will make it to the Duelbits Players Championship, with the top eight in attendance for the Duelbits Tour Championship.

This evening’s win for Trump avenges defeat in his most recent meeting with Murphy, where he lost out 6-5 at this season’s UK Championship. Murphy’s wait for a first major title since the 2020 Welsh Open goes on, but he does move from 14th to 11th position in the live one-year list standings thanks to the £20,000 he’s earned for reaching the semi-finals.

Trump got off to a fast start this evening, taking the opening two frames to establish an early 2-0 cushion. Murphy replied with a stunning 140 break, the highest of the event so far, to reduce his arrears to a single frame. However, Trump fired in a run of 85 in the fourth to lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

After play resumed 23-time ranking event winner Trump stretched his lead to three with a century contribution of 112 to make it 4-1. Murphy took the sixth and had the first opportunity in the seventh, but broke down on 38. Trump clawed his way back into the frame and crucially took it to move one from victory at 5-2. Runs of 33 and 32 were enough to see him over the line and secure his place in the final.

“You always feel like it is going to be tough against Shaun, so to win so easily is always a bonus. That saves a little bit of energy for the final now. I’m pleased with how I played. I scored very heavily when I got in and took my chances. Long potting wasn’t amazing, but it was good enough in the end,” said 33-year-old Trump.

“It is never nice to lose to someone and it is always an aim to make sure that doesn’t happen twice in a row. It is nice to get that one out of the way. I felt good out there and comfortable. I’ve taken a lot of confidence from the Masters win and hopefully I perform well in the final.

“I’ve always had good games with Mark Allen and there will be many more to come. This is another big one. He’s the player in form this season, he’s won a lot of events and he looks good every time he comes to the table. It is important for me to go out and play my own game and try to control the table, not let him dictate things. Hopefully I can find some form with my long potting overnight.

“This event is very close to home for me, as close as it gets. I’ve had amazing support all week. I was crowd favourite against Shaun and no doubt everyone will get behind me in the final. It does make you try that little bit harder. It just fills you with confidence when you’ve got everyone backing you.”

I don’t expect Mark Allen to crack today. I would be very surprised if it’s a one-sided match though.

Meanwhile away from Cheltenham…

I want to wish a very happy new year to all my Chinese friends and readers of this blog.

May it be a creative, prosperous and happy one for all of you and those dear to you.

On a completely different topic, there is a very popular program on ITV, inspired by a Korean show. It’s called the “Masked Singer” and yesterday it was revealed that Stephen Hendry was a contestant.

This video was shared on social media

Stephen got both praise and stick for this. I will say, good on him. He was having a lot of fun apparently and why not? Also I like it that he choose to be “Rubbish”. Snooker is far too serious these days and this is no dafter than “Snooker Loopy”.

5 thoughts on “Day 6 at the 2023 World Grand Prix … and elsewhere

    • Yes I saw that. But he’s moved exhibitions before so let’s wait and see. He needs the semi-finals at least so that’s a big ask anyway.

      • May the New Year bring you all wealth and health(especially players need it.).!

        After reading the calendar, it is high pressure for them for remaining of season if high ranked players with a decent result in most of them….

    • It is very disappointing and I was very sad to se it. I mean, I know it is a big ask to suddenly do well at the Welsh after this very disappointing season, but it would have been nice to at least pretend that he would try… 😦

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