Judd Trump has said his run to the semi-finals of the World Championship has rekindled his love for the game.
Trump won eight frames in a row to beat Stuart Bingham to book a semi-final meeting with Mark Williams.
While the level of performance was below what he has produced in previous seasons, his body language at the table was impressive and suggested the hunger is back.
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Trump claims that by flying under the radar, he has a free shot at Williams and is looking forward to the challenge.
“Ronnie (O’Sullivan) was through, Mark Williams played amazing, John Higgins and Jack Lisowski,” Trump said in the Eurosport studio. “It was a semi-final I wanted to be a part of. I am not ready to go home just yet.
“I feel I am improving very slowly, and maybe by next year’s World Championship I will be playing better!
“Now with the one-table setup, I can’t wait to get going.
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“I am so happy. I’m not normally this happy to still be in an event, but I’ve not played that well so it’s like a free shot for me.
“I’m going under the radar, no-one expects me to win so I am playing with so much freedom.
“I have had no pressure, just battling my hardest and I’ve got a free shot at Mark Williams.
“I’ve lost a couple of quarter-finals the last two years so I’ve missed that one-table setup.
“It has not been easy, but I am now coming to terms with it and you have to enjoy the battle. I’d not been enjoying it, but this tournament has rekindled my love for it.”
Reflecting on the turnaround in his quarter-final, Trump has suggested his race was run until Bingham missed a simple black when leading 8-5.
“It was a surprise in the end, as I was 8-5 down and looking down and out,” Trump said. “All of a sudden he started to miss a few, he missed a black off the spot and lost all momentum.
“I felt a lot more confident coming into tonight’s session. Stuart was missing a few and I could tell from his body language, he was not feeling confident so I was trying not to miss anything too easy.
“I was in Shredsville. I could not pot a ball, honestly. It is one of those things, you are just happy for the opponent not to miss as you don’t want another chance as you won’t pot anything.
"I just tried to dig in and tried to enjoy it.
“I was not trying to get down, enjoy what was going on out there. Play with a smile on my face, which is something I have not been doing very much these last few years. Just enjoy the battle a bit more.
“My touch was coming back a bit towards the end and I felt I was striking the ball better and a bit more confident.”
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