Gutsy Judd Trump squeezes past Dominic Dale into the last 16 of the Welsh Snooker Open
Bristol's Judd Trump produced a gutsy comeback to keep his BetVictor Welsh Open title hopes alive yesterday.
World No 2 Trump bravely fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to Welshman Dominic Dale to triumph 4-3 at this week's £250,000 ranking tournament at the Newport Centre.
And with victory former UK and China Open champion Trump will now face Englishman Andrew Higginson, the 2007 Welsh Open runner-up, in the last 16 stage today as he continues his quest to pocket the £50,000 first prize.
"I made hard work of that one, but it's pleasing coming through," said Trump.
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"I missed a bad blue to go 3-1 down, but I just kept focused because I still knew I could win the match.
"I didn't feel I had done much wrong in the first few frames. I had to knuckle down. From 3-1 he started to miss a few balls and I managed to punish him."
Local favourite Dale won two scrappy opening frames which dragged on for over an hour, before Trump won another scrappy frame to reduce his arrears to 2-1.
But Dale then pocketed a break of 114 to edge within one frame of victory and was looking good to end a run of two successive defeats to his opponent.
However Trump, snooker's latest potting sensation, hit back with a break of 42 to make it 3-2 and then, having made a run of 55, forced a deciding frame by winning the sixth frame on the final black.
And then breaks of 50 and 36 followed as Trump won the decider to avoid an upset.
"Hopefully I can get better as the tournament progresses," added Trump.
"I feel positive about my game and I'm just waiting for my luck to change.
"I'm missing long balls and they're going around the table and leaving my opponent an easy chance, which doesn't help at the moment.
"But players are changing their game to play slower against me. Dominic was too slow for himself and it caught him out towards the end. He usually goes for his shots but he took no chances today.
"Some players have a game plan to slow me down and hope I lash out.
"A couple of years ago I would have panicked in that match, but I showed some good patience."