Judd Trump’s defence of the German Masters remains on track, but he was made to work hard for a 5-3 win over Joe Perry.
The event was Trump’s first since he missed the Masters on account of a positive coronavirus test.
He comfortably took care of Mark Davis in the opening round, but was made to dig deep to get the better of Perry. His potting was not razor sharp and at times his safety was awry, and it all amounted to giving Perry a chance.
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But Trump dug deep and won a pivotal sixth frame when looking likely to go 4-2 behind, and it enabled him to steady the ship before going on to win the match.
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Trump had the first chance of the match following a safety error from Perry, but he missed a pink to the middle and left an excellent table for his opponent.
Perry was out of sorts at the Masters after gaining a late entry into the event due to Trump’s positive coronavirus test. He was sent packing 6-2 by David Gilbert, looking like a man who had hardly picked up a cue in the weeks leading up to the event, but he took his chance in the opening frame - with a break of 65 enough to edge him ahead in the contest.
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Trump drew level with a break of 74 in the second, but frustratingly for the world number one he did not close it out at the first time of asking and had to escape from a couple of snookers his opponent laid in a bid to get back in the frame. Trump was able to extricate himself from the snookers and seized on Perry’s failure to lay another snooker and knocked in the remaining red to take the frame.
Perry opened a handy lead of 41 in the third frame, but Trump pulled out a brilliant pot when seemingly in trouble behind the baulk line. It should have secured him the frame, but he broke down in the forties and Perry won a lengthy safety exchange and then cleared the colours to edge back in front.
Trump knew he was in a match following the third frame, and it could have got worse as Perry had the first chance of the fourth but left a pink in the jaws. The defending champion required a couple of visits to take the frame, which was an indicator of him not being at his sharpest.
Both players passed up chances in the first frame after the interval, with Trump looking extremely frustrated in taking on a tight cut of the black to the left corner with his wrong hand. He got nowhere near the pot and Perry cashed in to edge ahead for the third time in the match.
Perry had a huge chance to open up a two-frame cushion in the sixth, but he broke down with a 40-point lead when attempting to get from pink to a red. Trump stepped in and on the back of some good potting and astute safety, he was able to level the match.
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Pinching the sixth appeared to release the handbrake and he knocked in an excellent long red in the seventh.
He did not close out the frame in one visit, but he got back in again following a safety exchange and was able to move ahead for the first time in the match.
Perry had the opportunity to force a decider but he missed a red with the rest and later a simple frame ball.
Giving lives to lesser players is unwise, to do it against the world number one is a crime and he paid the price as Trump made a 58 clearance - with some tough pots towards the end of the break - to seal the match.
Elsewhere, Ding Junhui breezed into the quarter finals with a 5-0 win over Dominic Dale to set up a meeting with Trump.
The Chinese star survived a scare before beating Kacper Filipiak 5-4 in the first round, but he was razor sharp in knocking in two centuries whitewashing Dale.
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