It’s day two of the Zhiyuan World Open, and the stakes are even higher. A number of big names continued in their quest for the World Open prize, entertaining fans with the shoves and push of the cue ball on the shiny billiard table.
Judd Trump took centre stage in the evening, where he was poised to take on compatriot, Sam Craigie. The World Champion started the game on the front foot, racing to a 2-0 lead. It was expected to be an easy win for the World Champ, and it looked very much so.
Following the 2-0 lead, the century man added one more frame to secure a 3-0 lead. He made it a consecutive century with a gigantic break of 144. You could imagine the Brit who turned professional in 2005, whispering the words, “welcome to the bigs, Junior.” Juddernaut, with that break, has now made 640 career centuries.
Sam Craigie, however, chose not to lose in such a devastating manner. The 25-year-old snatched the fourth frame to reduce the lead to only two frames just before the mid-session interval.
After the interval, Craigie won another frame, making the game a tough call for Trump. Trump must have deemed the game a walk in the park just before the game’s start, but a determined Craigie showed he was ready to throw away the ‘underdog’ tag.
When Trump had opened up the game, leaving Craigie chained to his seat and trailing 3-0, it looked like it was going to be a leisure walk for the World Champ. However, his English compatriot came back to peg him in the heels, even recording a 4-4 with him.
The game went down to the wire, with both players drawn. It was supposed to be an easy setup, but Craigie came through with fire crackling through his bones.
The decider frame was played, and Trump emerged victoriously. The World Champion, when asked about his spiky shoes, replied: “They’re somewhere in my wardrobe.”
Juddernaut was left smiling after avoiding a potential banana skin and holding off a tough challenge from his compatriot in a fiercely contested match.
Judd Trump is available at 3.60 to win the 2019 World Open, his closest competitor Mark Selby is set at 6.75 to win the trophy ahead of him.
Written by: Roland Arum