World Snooker: Judd Trump to face Ding Junhui in semis

World Snooker Championship

Venue:
Crucible Theatre
Date:
16 April-2 May
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC One HD, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); updates and reports on Radio 5 live; catch up with BBC iPlayer
Judd Trump

Judd Trump thrashed Graeme Dott to reach the last four at the World Championship in Sheffield.

China Open winner Trump won the first two frames on Wednesday to seal a 13-5 victory and will now meet Ding Junhui.

The Chinese star saw Mark Selby recover from 10-6 down to make it 10-10 before Ding won a tense frame on the black and took the next two for a 13-10 victory.

Mark Williams beat Mark Allen 13-5 to book a semi-final against John Higgins, who overcame Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-10.

Bristolian Trump had to qualify to reach the tournament but smashed breaks of 67 and 78 as he quickly polished off his match against 2006 champion Dott.

The 21-year-old is in new territory at the Crucible but is feeling confident and relaxed as he contemplates his last-four match.

"I do feel a little bit invincible at the moment, it's a good feeling to have," said Trump.

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World Snooker: Judd Trump 'loving' Crucible winning run

"But at any stage of this tournament anybody could beat me 13-3 or 13-4 because the standard is so high. But I know I can do that to the rest of the players."

The Crucible becomes a one-table venue for the last four and Trump is looking forward to the challenge after admitting he found defeating Dott easier than expected.

"I think I'll go out and enjoy it a little more now," added Trump. "I've got the whole crowd to entertain now, which is going to be good, rather than having just half the arena to myself.

"It was a little bit easier than I thought it was going to be. Not that Graeme played badly, I just went out there from the start and played really well.

"I feel I can win the title. I don't want to give off a too-cocky image, but I'm very confident in myself and I think you need to be.

"A lot of the older players want to go out and teach you a lesson and batter you and put little scars on you for when you come here in the future. I just need to keep winning and keep that freshness."

Ding, despite four ranking titles to his name including two UK Championships, had never progressed beyond the second round in Sheffield before this year.

But he upset pre-match expectations against the in-form Selby to record a notable triumph in an absorbing tussle with the 'Jester from Leicester'.

Ding resumed on Wednesday morning 5-3 ahead and won the second session by the same score to take a 10-6 advantage into the final session.

The 24-year-old underlined his intent with a break of 121 and further runs of 93 and 76 put him 9-6 ahead before he won a lengthy final frame of the session.

But Selby showed his renowned tenacity when the players resumed in the evening, reeling off four frames in a row with breaks of 55, 66, 89 and 92.

But the momentum swung back Ding's way in a crucial 21st frame which the world number four took on the black, a body blow to Selby.

The Englishman also lost the next from a promising position, Ding aided by a fluke that knocked the final red into play.

Ding was first in with a 42 break in the next before Selby returned from a mid-frame toilet break to take the lead at 54-51, but he missed a difficult long pink that would have extended the match.

Instead Ding knocked in a stunning pot and then clinched his semi-final place with the black, punching the air in delight.

Welshman Williams won the world title in 2000 and 2003 but until this year had reached the quarter-final stage only once since his last victory at the Crucible.

"It's been a long time, eight years. It'll be nice," said Williams of his forthcoming semi-final appearance. "Once it goes down to one table it's totally different.

"You've got loads of room and that's when it becomes a real venue. I haven't been there for so long, I'm looking forward to it."

Northern Ireland cueman Allen left a red hanging over the pocket in the opening frame of Wednesday's session and was punished as Williams fired a break of 61.

When Allen missed a sitter of a red at 39-17 ahead in the next, Williams produced a match-clinching clearance of 65.

Allen was left to rue a series of missed opportunities as Williams opened up a 5-3 lead during the opening session.

Mark Williams after his quarter-final win against Mark Allen

"I played probably the best snooker I've played in the tournament and managed to somehow throw three frames away. I made 59, 60 and 66 and lost all three frames," 25-year-old Allen reflected.

"I should have been 6-2 in front but somehow I came out 5-3 down, but that's what Mark does best. He knows how to win and he knows how to get the most out of a session which is something I'm still learning to do.

"From then on it was a bit of a struggle to hang on to his coattail and he showed what a class player he was by pulling away so easily."

Williams agreed that the opening session had been crucial and added: "How I managed to be 5-3 up I'll never know.

"He was knocking in 50s and 60s for fun really, and I kept clearing up and nicking them.

"It probably hurt him a little bit early on and I dominated the match from thereon."

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