Judd Trump battled his way into the third round of the Welsh Open with a 4-2 win over Si Jiahui.
The world number one, who has four ranking wins to his name this season, made a slow start to mirror his effort in the first round against Zhao Jianbo.
However, one brilliant pot on the yellow in the second frame appeared to spark him into life as he moved into round three.
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Si got in first in the opener with a break of 51, but it was an error from Trump that handed the teenager the lead.
The 18-year-old attempted an audacious red into the middle which failed to drop and he left a pot into the corner for Trump. The world number one required the long rest, but expected to make it and he slammed his extension into his chair in frustration after over-cutting the red and leaving it for his opponent to knock in and take the opener.
The second was extremely scrappy, with both players missing balls after being handed chances.
Trump’s form in his first-round win over Zhao Jianbo was patchy and his game looked in a similar state against Si, but he pulled off a stunning pot on the yellow to gain position on the green and it secured him the second frame. He had zero margin for error, as too far and he would have been snookered behind the blue; too short and it would have been a similar situation with the pink - but he found the gap and took the frame.
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The excellent yellow in the previous frame appeared to release the pressure and he pounced on a poor safety from Si to compile a brilliant break of 82 with the black out of commission, and the fluency had Eurosport’s Joe Johnson purring with appreciation.
“When he starts to play it’s just brilliant to watch how he works the cueball,” was Johnson’s assessment of the third frame.
Trump needed a couple of bites to secure the fourth frame, but he was not troubled to do so as Si struggled to impose himself.
Si knocked in breaks of 73, 91 and 114 in the first round and he showed his quality in the fifth with a break of 75.
The Welsh Open has not yet featured in Trump's sizeable, burgeoning trophy cabinet, but he remains favourite to set that right in 2021. Si got in first in the sixth with a break of 38, but a slack safety handed Trump a chance.
He knocked in a break of 54 but did not seal the deal at the first time of asking, but Si missed a red with the rest and it proved his final act as Trump closed out the match.
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