Judd Trump has joked about the "World Seniors Championship" he has found himself in the middle of as the final four approaches at the Crucible.
Ahead of the semi-finals at the World Championship, the 32-year-old has added some mirth to proceedings by observing that he is joining the 'Class of '92' on the biggest stage in Sheffield.
The Bristolian, who enjoyed a wild fluke from a treble and also joked with the crowd and referee over a cheeky trick as he overcame Stuart Bingham on Wednesday, is back in action against three-time champion Williams on Thursday afternoon.
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Trump eventually held his composure to beat Bingham 13-8 and book a place in the last four, but now the challenge only gets trickier as he faces a red-hot Williams, who has arguably been the form player so far at the prestigious tournament.
Ahead of the encounter with 'The Welsh Potting Machine', Trump took to social media to jest about the ages of the three players who are left in the draw with him at the Crucible. At the same time, he noted that they were "three legends of the game".
"I've ended up stuck in the middle of a World Seniors Championship," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"Super excited for the semi-finals, though, still battling it out with three legends of the game!"
Trump has spoken about feeling disillusioned with his game during this tournament and is planning on taking an extended break from the sport. Despite winning two tournaments this season, he has not been enjoying his snooker as much as normal.
Watch as Trump flukes astonishing treble at World Championship
Having joined the professional tour in the 2005–06 season, the 2019 champion at the Crucible has racked up 23 ranking event titles and is currently the world No. 4 having endured a very mixed season.
Trump told Eurosport after his quarter-final that, by flying under the radar, he feels that he now 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.
"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.
Watch as Trump winds up referee, moves ball with hand
"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."
As for the other three semi-finalists, the dominance of the trio at the top of the sport continues to be utterly remarkable. Higgins has four World Championship titles to his name, while Williams has three.
Meanwhile, it is the fifth occasion in O’Sullivan’s illustrious career that he has occupied the world No. 1 ranking, and the first time since 2019, as he continues his pursuit of a record-equalling seventh world title.
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