World Championship

'I'd happily defend world title in a car park' - Trump content to play without fans

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Judd Trump celebrates his world title victory.

Image credit: Eurosport

11/06/2020 at 05:46 | Updated 11/06/2020 at 06:33

Judd Trump is adamant an absence of fans will not hinder his bid to win back-to-back world titles at an empty Crucible Theatre in August.

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The sport's biggest event is set to be played behind closed doors in Sheffield between 31 July and 16 August under UK health guidelines due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

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Trump and snooker got a glimpse of the immediate future with this week's Championship League at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

The event has been successfully staged without fans in attendance with all players requiring COVID-19 tests amid strict hygiene rules and social distancing in place.

Trump will bid to become the first maiden winner of the World Championship to successfully defend the trophy in the modern era following his 18-9 win over John Higgins a year ago.

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“I’d be happy to defend it in a car park somewhere,” said Trump, who returned strongly despite being edged out by Ryan Day in his bid to reach the Championship League final.

“I don’t really care. As long as it’s on, it doesn’t really matter where it is.

“It’s the same for all the players, we’re just happy to be out there playing. It doesn’t really matter what’s going on, we’re just here in our little zone in this tournament and it’s just good for everyone involved."

Trump – who bids for a seventh ranking event victory of the season at the delayed Tour Championship which begins in Milton Keynes on 20 June – feels that a lack of fans will not hinder the intensity of the competition.

“There’s not a real difference playing with a crowd, it doesn’t make too much difference for anyone," said the world number one.

“I think this could work for every tournament. Snooker doesn’t necessarily need to have a crowd in every single tournament and it works on TV, it looks good on TV. You just don’t notice those kinds of things.

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“The only way you do is if your concentration’s not great but when you’re in amongst the balls and potting balls, to be honest I just completely forget that there normally is a crowd there.”

Wednesday June 10

Group B

  • Winner of Group 12 – Ryan Day (Wal)
  • Winner of Group 2 – Judd Trump (Eng)
  • Winner of Group 7 – Barry Hawkins (Eng)
  • Winner of Group 13 – David Gilbert (Eng)
  • Ryan Day 3-0 Judd Trump
  • David Gilbert 2-2 Barry Hawkins
  • David Gilbert 2-2 Ryan Day
  • Judd Trump 3-1 Barry Hawkins
  • David Gilbert 2-2 Judd Trump
  • Barry Hawkins 2-2 Ryan Day

Group B winner: Ryan Day (Wal)

Group A

  • Winner of Group 14 – Gary Wilson (Eng)
  • Winner of Group 3 – Mark Joyce (Eng)
  • Winner of Group 9 – Luca Brecel (Bel)
  • Winner of Group 16 – Ashley Carty (Eng)
  • Luca Brecel 2-2 Mark Joyce
  • Ashley Carty 3-1 Gary Wilson
  • Gary Wilson 3-0 Mark Joyce
  • Luca Brecel 3-1 Ashley Carty
  • Gary Wilson 2-2 Luca Brecel
  • Ashley Carty 1-3 Mark Joyce

Group A winner: Luca Brecel (Bel)

Tournament final group

(3pm BST start)

Thursday June 11

  • Winner of Group C – Stuart Bingham (Eng)
  • Winner of Group D – Ben Woollaston (Eng)
  • Winner of Group B – Ryan Day (Wal)
  • Winner of Group A – Luca Brecel (Bel)
  • Stuart Bingham v Luca Brecel
  • Ryan Day v Ben Woollaston
  • Ryan Day v Luca Brecel
  • Stuart Bingham v Ben Woollaston
  • Luca Brecel v Ben Woollaston
  • Stuart Bingham v Ryan Day
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