Trump battles to hard-fought win but Maguire and Stevens crash out

Judd Trump. Picture by Monique Limbos

Judd Trump. Picture by Monique Limbos

JUDD Trump booked his place in the last 32 of the International Championship but had to do it the hard way after a spirited display from Jimmy Robertson.

Trump’s hopes of winning the major ranking tournament for a second time, following his triumph in 2012, were still alive after he fought off a determined fightback against the world number 52 to win a final frame shootout.

The Bristol ace, winner of this season’s Australian Open, looked to be in total control when breaks of 82 and 40 helped him to a 2-0 lead.

But Robertson had other ideas up his sleeve as he took the next three frames with top breaks of 65 and 58 to go into a surprise 3-2 lead.

Trump battled his way back into contention winning the next two frames before a break of 69 put him clear at 5-3 to the good,

But for a second time Robertson was to frustrate Trump as much-needed breaks of 61 and 58 kept his hopes of pulling off a major shock alive as he levelled at 5-5.

However Trump managed to squeeze past the winning line as a break of 67 ended any chance of an upset.

Elsewhere, Stephen Maguire was the day’s biggest casualty as he fell to a 6-5 defeat to Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.

World number 13 Maguire looked to have taken control of a see-saw contest when a total clearance of 140 moved him into a 5-4 lead.

But Saengkham, ranked 57 places below the Scot, made a stunning recovery as a break of 65 took the match into a final frame before a match-winning clearance of 28 earned him a place in the next round.

World number 19 Matthew Stevens had a day to forget as he crashed to a 6-1 defeat to Jamie Burnett who will meet Trump in the next round.

Last year’s International Championship finalist Marco Fu fought back from 4-2 down to beat Liam Highfield and world number 2 Neil Robertson safely booked his place into the second round with a 6-3 win over Matthew Selt. Robertson will next face Joe Swail who beat Andrew Higginson 6-2.

Wildcard entrant Zhao Xintong continued his winning run after beating Norway’s Kurt Maflin 6-3 following his preliminary round win against Jamie Jones.

Teenager Oliver Lines, who beat world champion Mark Selby to reach the venue stages of the tournament, suffered a 6-3 first round loss to Rod Lawler.

Meanwhile, Shaun Murphy cruised into the next round with a 6-1 victory over Yu Delu and Peter Ebdon brushed aside Andrew Pagett by the same score to book his last 32 place.

Joe Perry, who reached this season’s Wuxi Classic final, recovered from 3-0 down to beat Mike Dunn and Ricky Walden hit two centuries to record a 6-3 win over Ireland’s David Morris.

There were also wins for Zhou Yuelong, Fergal O’Brien, David Gilbert, Robert Milkins and Xiao Guodong.

International Championship – Last 32 Draw:

Mitchell MANN vs Michael WHITE
Ian BURNS vs Craig STEADMAN
Stuart BINGHAM vs Ryan DAY
Martin GOULD vs Mark ALLEN
Barry HAWKINS vs Mark WILLIAMS
Sam BAIRD vs Mark DAVIS
Li HANG vs Zhao XINTONG
Anthony McGILL vs Ronnie O’SULLIVAN
Neil ROBERTSON vs Joe SWAIL
Zhou YUELONG vs Ricky WALDEN
Joe PERRY vs Peter EBDON
Jamie BURNETT vs Judd TRUMP
Shaun MURPHY vs Robert MILKINS
Xiao GUODONG vs Noppon SAENGKHAM
Marco FU vs David GILBERT
Fergal O’BRIEN vs Rod LAWLER 

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