An outrageous fluke threatened to derail Judd Trump’s Betway UK Championship bid but a place in the semi-finals is his after downing Kyren Wilson.
Trump raced into a 3-0 lead and looked set for more in Milton Keynes – only for his opponent to produce a fluke to win the fourth frame and regain some much-needed momentum.
The two were then locked at 4-4 in their last-eight match and Wilson should have gone into the lead, but Trump held his own to progress 6-4 and reach Saturday’s semi-finals, where China’s Lu Ning awaits.
“I started off well, put him under a lot of pressure and felt confident at that point, I felt that I could win the game quite easily,” he said.
“Then, all of a sudden, things happened and it completely turned on its head.
“He had a couple of flukes in the frame, but the main one was just incredible – one of the best you’ll ever see.
“If he misses it, it’s 4-0 and probably game over. That swung the momentum and from that point he made it scrappy, it became a bit of a slog in the end.
“At 4-4, you know you’ve got to dig in. The game was dragging on a little bit and I lost some momentum, I made a good break to go 5-4 up and had a good lead in the last one as well.
“Kyren made it slower and more tactical so I needed to get some momentum. I was buzzing around the table in the first few frames, but it was freezing in the arena.”
Few players can match an in-form Trump and that certainly looked to be the case when asserting himself from the off with two century breaks in the opening three frames.
But Wilson, partially thanks to his luck, refused to go away as the two rivals became embroiled in another rollercoaster match which fans have been accustomed to in recent meetings.
The two have played each other five times since August with Trump now coming out on top in the last three, with his bid for a second UK Championship title still up for grabs.
Seven-time champion and Eurosport pundit Ronnie O’Sullivan said: “Judd went off really well but Kyren is too good a player not to have an impact on the game.
“A fluke can turn a feeling of a match, so for Judd to come through that – he’ll feel happier getting through that than he would have done if he’d blasted him away 6-0.
“There were questions asked of Judd, he could have easily gone 5-4 down, but he stepped in and made the break at the right time.
“It’s character-building stuff. You take more from victories like that than a 6-0 – he does that quite a lot, so it’s nice to see him grind it out a little bit.”