He might be a long way short his best, but Judd Trump’s fighting spirit is alive and kicking and he ground out a 10-6 lead after two sessions of his second-round clash with Anthony McGill.
It has been a slog of a season for Trump, who says he is looking forward to an extended break at the end of the World Championship.
While he may have his eyes on time away from the table, he is still focused on adding a second World Championship to his CV and he was workmanlike in securing a handy lead over McGill in the race to 13.
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Resuming at 4-4 after the first session, Trump pounced on an early error from McGill and while he could never find top gear, he battled hard to take control against an admittedly below-par opponent.
McGill had control of the first frame of the session, but missed a black that would have taken him over the line and later on in the stanza the Scot fouled, suffered a double whammy of conceding a free ball and Trump stepped in to clear and move ahead.
After losing the previous frame, McGill looked shell-shocked as he missed an easy red in the 10th. But he was not punished by Trump and was able to steady the ship and level the match.
Trump’s scoring was not of the level he’s accustomed to delivering, but the battling qualities were in evidence and he grafted through a run of 48 in the 11th and it was enough to get him back in front.
As well as struggling with his weight of scoring, he has lacked a bit of authority in his potting. A red he crunched in with the rest in the 12th frame was much more like peak-Trump and it set up an excellent break of 52 on what was a tough table - and it was enough to secure a two-frame lead at the mid-session interval.
In the frame after the interval, Trump once again struggled with his cue-ball control. He eked out an advantage and with colours on cushions, it proved an impossible mountain to climb for McGill as Trump extended his lead to three frames at 8-5.
Just when it looked like Trump would kick into gear, it proved a false start. He knocked in a great red but missed a routine black and McGill - who had struggled to find the jaws let alone the middle of the pockets - knocked in a break of 97.
Trump raised the prospect of a 147 in the following frame, but ran out of position. A break of 79 was enough to guarantee a lead overnight.
The 2019 world champion turned it into a four-frame lead by taking the final one of the session. McGill had a chance, but he summed up his session when he left a red in the jaws of the bottom right and Trump punished to take a commanding advantage into Monday’s final session.
Neil Robertson has his back to the wall after falling 9-7 behind to Jack Lisowski.
Lisowski produced some brilliant play on Sunday afternoon, but Robertson gave himself hope by taking the final frame of the session.
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