Judd Trump followed up his mauling of Kyren Wilson at the Champion of Champions with a 6-1 win to reach the semi-finals of the Masters.
Trump, who missed the Masters last year after a positive coronavirus test, produced the performance of the first round with three tons in his narrow win over Mark Allen.
The level was not as good against Wilson at Alexandra Palace on Friday, but his match-play was strong as he got ahead early and kept his opponent at bay.
Jimmy White vs Judd Trump's Eurosport Masters shot of the championship pot
- I was in the toilet and I heard them - Williams on Alexandra Palace atmosphere
- I am not big headed - Ronnie O'Sullivan
It proved to be a cagey start with both players squandering chances. After missing a simple red to bottom left, one shot later Trump stroked in a glorious long red into the same pocket. It seemed to settle the nerves, as he knocked in an excellent break of 68 to draw first blood.
Trump carried the confidence gleaned from the first frame into the second. A foul from Wilson handed him a chance, and he took it with an excellent opening red. The pot itself, by Trump’s standards, was not high-tariff, but to hold for position was exceptional and it set up a run of 74 to take the frame.
Wilson was under pressure at the start of the third and it showed as he attempted a fiendishly difficult blue along the baulk rail he probably would not have taken on had Trump not been two frames to the good. The blue stayed above ground to hand Trump a chance, but he surprisingly miscued a black and Wilson took his second opening with a break of 71 to get on the board.
By getting on the scoresheet, Wilson snapped a run of eight losing frames on the spin against Trump - having been thrashed 6-0 at the Champion of Champions (this ignores a Championship League meeting last week).
Wilson had a big chance to draw level but broke down on 54. He was heavy favourite, but Trump strategically lifted reds off cushions and knocked in a stunning pot to set up the counter. He did not falter, and put the miscue in the third out of his mind with a glorious break of 50 to steal.
'Gone everywhere' - Unexpected Trump shot offers Wilson chance
Seeing Trump pinch the fourth was a blow to Wilson. The fifth saw the world number two take a sledgehammer to his opponent's ribs. With a healthy lead, Wilson laid a snooker and looked in total command of the frame. Trump extricated himself from the snooker and the counter was poetry in motion. He picked off easy reds, shifted one that was welded to the right cushion and stroked in another down the left rail to move three frames to the good.
Trump has only one trophy to his name this season. Only, is in comparison to five last term. But his body language this week is of a player who has his belief back, and a break of 67 after Wilson had missed a red into right middle moved him to within one of victory.
It’s fair to say Wilson did not have the run of the balls, and he could be forgiven for thinking he had crossed a black cat on the way in as in the seventh he knocked in a good blue, but cannoned a red and saw it plant onto another and into the bottom right.
It proved to be the final call for Wilson, as Trump got in moments later and a break of 42 set him on course for a semi-final with either Mark Selby or Barry Hawkins.
- - -
Stream the Masters and other top snooker live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.
'No regrets' - Trump not disappointed with Masters loss to Hawkins
Hawkins topples Trump in deciding frame to set up Masters final clash with Robertson