JUDD Trump has said hard work on positional play in practice is starting to pay dividends after he cruised his way into the UK Championship semi-finals.
The Bristol star will face Stephen Maguire later today (Saturday) for a place in this year’s UK Championship final.
Trump stated earlier in the week his high confidence has returned after an impressive start to the season which saw him win the Australian Open and last month the final of the Champion of Champions,
And that extra buzz of confidence was evident throughout in his 6-1 quarter-final win over Mark Davis which included an attempt for a maximum 147 break but missed the ninth red using the extended rest.
Trump made six breaks of more than 50+ in the match and managed to finish the match in less than two hours of play.
“I felt like I was hitting the ball well, probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt out there,” Trump said.
“I felt like I was hitting the ball as well as I do in practise – timing it well and really getting through the white ball.
“I’ve been working on my positional play and I think it really paid off tonight. A lot of the breaks I made were a lot easier than I’ve been used to in the last couple of years. I think my position is really starting to improve.
“Towards the end I missed the pink and missed the red with the rest and both times I changed my mind on the shot – I need to learn from that.
“I was really going for the 147 because I was hitting the ball so well. I felt like it was a good opportunity but I didn’t quite get through the white on the black to get on the red. I couldn’t really see me missing with my hand on the table but I missed with the rest – it’s a different kind of pressure when you’re playing with the rest.”
During the Champion of Champions event, Trump’s next opponent Maguire, said to the media he was considering his future in the sport after having somewhat of a horrid time of it on the baize.
But the Scot appears to have regained some form as a 6-4 win over Marco Fu secured his place into the last four.
It is the first time Maguire has been in the semi-finals stages of this competition since 2009 when he lost to Ding Junhui 9-5.
Maguire led Fu 4-1 with top breaks of 95, 66 and 113, before the Hong Kong cueman recovered to 4-3. The next two frames were shared before Maguire sealed the result in a scrappy tenth frame by potting the last red and clearing to the brown.