Judd Trump’s bid for a hat-trick of German Masters titles came to a halt at the hands of Zhao Xintong in the quarter-finals.
Trump has been imperious in the event for the past couple of years and served notice of his intent with a 5-0 mauling of Zhou Yuelong.
But 24 hours on, he came across a player high on confidence following his breakthrough win at the top of the sport in the UK Championship.
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He scored heavily when in the balls and held his nerve to beat one of the game’s elite players 5-1 at the Tempodrom in Berlin.
Zhao opened with a 57 before running out of position, but a good snooker fashioned a second chance which he took to wrap up the opener
The UK champion’s potting is out of the top drawer, but he showed his match-play qualities in getting over the line against Mark Williams in round one.

Xintong lands stunning long pot to far corner in fine start against Trump

In the second round, it was a potting masterclass in his win over Tom Ford, and he kicked off in that manner against Trump.
Another 57 followed in the second, before running out of position and inexplicably fouling a black. Trump did not take the surprise opening, and Zhao was able to shake off the mistake to double his lead.
For the third frame in a row, Zhao knocked in a half-century only to break down. Trump had a big chance after his opponent went in-off, but he missed a black down the baulk rail.
It proved a costly mistake, but only after Zhao had a massive slice of luck when missing a red into green pocket only to see it drop into the yellow bag for a 3-0 lead.

Xintong gets huge fluke after Trump misses chance and takes another frame

Trump had his back against the wall at the start of the fourth and missed a red by a distance to suggest he was under the pump.
Once again Zhao got in. Once again Zhao broke down. This time it was just short of 50, and after a sustained safety battle Trump broke through to get the final frame before the interval.
Chances came and went for both in the fifth, but the frame turned Zhao’s way when he plundered a yellow. After failing to get position on the pink, the youngster shook his head a couple of times before getting down and knocking in a ridiculously difficult yellow.
There was no thought of playing it with safety in mind, as he went full-throttle and dropped perfectly on a red to set up the opportunity to move within one frame of victory.

'Simply irresistible!' - Zhao finishes off big win over Trump

It was somewhat appropriate that a half-century from Zhao in the sixth set him on the way to the winning line. He broke down, again, but a sloppy safety error from Trump handed him a second chance and he made no mistake.
Trump is one of the game’s established stars, but Zhao is looking to muscle in on that magic circle and wins such as this will only build confidence.
The key for Zhao is backing up this big win and he will face Ricky Walden in the semi-finals following his comprehensive 5-1 victory over Kyren Wilson.
Yan Bingtao won an epic against Mark Selby in the afternoon and it was a similar story against Ryan Day, as he rallied to claim a 5-4 win and will come up against the in-form Mark Allen next following his 5-0 mauling of Fan Zhengyi.
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