Judd Trump took an iron grip on the World Grand Prix final, racing into a 6-2 lead over Jack Lisowski ahead of Sunday evening’s second session.
Lisowski is chasing his first professional title, having tasted defeat in four previous final appearances, and he has a mountain to climb after ceding the advantage to Trump at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Trump was not at his best, as he missed a few easy balls, but he was gifted chances by Lisowski and took full advantage.
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Lisowski is an attacking player by nature and he set out his stall in the opening frame by taking on a long red, but it wriggled in the jaws and came back down to the baulk area. Trump picked it off and rolled in a 75 to take the frame.
Trump looked in excellent touch in the first frame but it was not the same story in the second as he missed a red down the side rail and Lisowski took advantage to level the match.
The scruffy nature of the contest continued in the third frame. Trump racked up points in snookers as Lisowski struggled to extricate himself from trouble.
The world number one did not look comfortable as he missed a couple of simple pots, but the advantage gained at the start of the frame was enough to take him back in front.
While the third frame was a struggle for Trump, the fourth was the exact opposite. Lisowski left a red exposed from his break and his opponent accepted the invitation. The black was never in play until 14 reds had been potted, but he was still able to knock in a stunning 122 total clearance - his 49th century of the season.
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A poor safety from Lisowski in the frame after the interval was an indicator of the pressure he was feeling. He did pot his first ball in the best part of 25 minutes, but it was not enough to prevent Trump from moving into a three-frame lead.
Lisowski’s task against his close friend was difficult enough, so to see Trump open up the sixth frame with an outrageous fluked red would have been demoralising. Trump did not take advantage, but he was given another chance when Lisowski missed a yellow off its spot. The second invitation was not passed up, as Trump rolled in a 75.
World number 15 Lisowski attempted to pot his way out of trouble in the seventh and he was rewarded with his first notable contribution of the match. His highest break in the first six frames had been 38, but he rolled in an excellent long red and it set him up for a 77 - which stopped the rot.
Both players had chances in the final frame of the session. Trump knocked in a 64 after Lisowski had left him a difficult table, but he did not make the frame safe and the underdog had a chance to cut the deficit.
He made 40 to put the frame in the balance, only to run out of position when attempting to bring the green into play. Trump's safety play is now on a par with his break-building and he forced the mistake from Lisowski to take a four-frame cushion into the evening session.
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