UK Championship: ‘It was horrendous’ – Judd Trump on why he had to ‘battle’ past Xiao Guodong in first round


Judd Trump lamented “horrendous” table conditions in his pulsating victory over Xiao Guodong at the UK Championship.

Trump edged out Xiao 6-5 in a tight match which saw both players unable to take a two-frame advantage at any point.

The 2019 world champion was far from his best but managed to just get over the line and will play Shaun Murphy or David Gilbert in the last 16.

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“It was horrendous but I don’t want to dwell on that,” Trump told Eurosport when asked about the conditions. “I’m so happy to get through.

“We both struggled to get through the ball, it just seemed to run on forever a couple times when I was really in amongst them.

“No-one wants to hear about that or cares about that, I’m just happy to get through.”

In the final frame, Xiao went for a risky four-ball plant which saw the reds split open, but he missed it which let his opponent in.

Trump revealed he didn’t know what Xiao was doing, as he made a frame and match-winning break of 88.

“Oh is that how he let me in?” said Trump when shown the footage.

“I didn’t know what he was looking at and then the red went over the pocket. I could see he was eyeing up something.

“I knew that was a chance to really capitalise and a made a big break.

He added: “I was really battling. There were a couple times when I got back into the game and it felt like I could have got a two-frame lead but I didn’t do that.”

Xiao flukes brown to win opening frame against Trump

Trump on return to tiered format at UK Championship

The UK Championship has returned to its old format of having just two tables and the top 16-ranked players automatically qualifying for the final stages in York.

The change has received positive feedback from players and Trump has also backed the revived tiered system, as well as the set-up at the Barbican Centre.

“I think everything they have done in the arena is positive,” said Trump. “I can’t see any downside to that.

“It feels a lot more prestigious out there. The atmosphere is a lot better, the crowd was packed around the table as well.

“You can’t really ask for anything more than that in a first-round game.”

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