SHEFFIELD (Agencies): World number one Judd Trump strolled into the World Championship quarter-finals by completing a 13-8 victory over world number 15 David Gilbert.
Tournament favourite Trump, 31, showed glimpses of his rare talent but did not need to be at his best to progress. An out-of-sorts Gilbert trailed 11-5 overnight but battled back to 12-8 before the 2019 champion Trump won a messy 21st frame to progress. Stuart Bingham joined Trump in the last eight with a 13-6 win over Jamie Jones.
The 2015 Crucible winner led the Welshman 10-6 overnight and wasted no time in getting over the line, breaks of 117, 68 and 102 sealing a hugely impressive victory over his fellow qualifier.
Trump building after steady start
Trump, who scored four centuries on his way to setting up a last-eight tie with either Shaun Murphy or Yan Bingtao, was made to work harder than he would have wanted to secure his place but never looked in real danger. Gilbert, a semi-finalist in 2019, compiled breaks of 68 and 79 to trail by four at 11-7, however a classy 107 took Trump within a frame of the finishing line, a target he reached after the mid-session interval.
Trump said: “It was a strange game. Dave was in control at the start and I was outplayed a little bit. I made a few mistakes. “He missed a great chance at 3-1 and after that the game kind of changed. I got some momentum and got a lead and after that I was scoring pretty heavy. “I didn’t play brilliant stuff but it was steady and I hopefully I can improve on that in the next round. I never really got any momentum or into any sort of rhythm. It was hard work. “There wasn’t much in it but I managed to nick the close ones.”
Bristol’s Trump has already won five tournaments in a standout season, taking his ranking event tally to 22. He says the key to adding to the total is not peaking too early in snooker’s showpiece event.
“You cannot play brilliantly all the time,” he added. “I played pretty decent but I have not played my best all the time this season when I have won events. I am not playing anywhere near my best but just battling through. “If I can get through the first few rounds, let everyone else play their absolute best, then I can swoop it all up. I’m hoping to save my best for the next game onwards.”
Qualifier Bingham on a run
Essex potter Bingham, who faces Scotland’s Anthony McGill in the last eight after reaching that stage for the first time since he won the event six years ago, said: “It was nice to get the job done quickly.
“I’m happy with my game. I could easily been 5-3 down and so to be 4-4 after the first session set me up. “The tables are playing really well and break-building is my game. I feel good and I am cueing well. But I need to sharpen up my safety game. “You have to be on your game here as you are playing top players every match.”