Judd Trump returned to the top of the snooker world rankings for the first time since 2013 after reaching the Quarter-Finals of the 2019 International Championship on Wednesday.
Trump, who added the World Championship to his Masters and World Grand Prix titles back in May, has enjoyed a remarkable year which has now seen him return to the summit of the sport.
The Bristol left-hander leapfrogs his rival Ronnie O’Sullivan – who had only ended the four-year reign Mark Selby in March.
Trump clinched top spot courtesy of a 6-2 win over Joe Perry to progress to the Quarter-Finals of the lucrative ranking event in Daqing, firing in two century breaks along the way.
Trump took the opening frame with a 62 break before doubling his lead with a clinical 101 before Perry got off the mark in style with a break of 91.
Trump then took a firm grip on the contest with consecutive breaks of 111 and 74, and though Perry clinched frame six, ‘The Ace’ added breaks of 76 and 52 in the following two frames to seal another impressive win.
“It is always good to be on top of the world,” Trump told World Snooker. “Mark Selby held it for such a long time and it is nice to get back there.
“Anyone that says they don’t want to be world number one is lying. It is always good to be on top of your sport so I am very happy with that achievement.
“I’m happy with that and I still have a job to do here, I would love to go out and win the first tournament I’ve played in this season.”
Trump will now face Tom Ford in Thursday’s Quarter-Finals after he overcame Andrew Higginson 6-4 in the day’s first session.
Mark Selby, the 2016 and 2017 International Champion, came from 3-1 and 5-3 down to deny David Gilbert in a high quality encounter.
Selby edged the opening frame before Gilbert produced consecutive breaks of 101, 68 and 76 to surge in front.
After the next two frames were shared, Selby hit back with a break of 75, though a 55 proved insufficient in frame eight as Gilbert moved within one of victory.
The three-time World Champion, however, dug deep in trademark fashion to win the next three frames and set up a World Championship rematch with Gary Wilson.
Wilson, semi-finalist at The Crucible in May, ended the run of world number 75 Jak Jones with a 6-3 success which included a high break of 132 in the first frame.
John Higgins was knocked out of the competition by merciless fellow Scotsman Graeme Dott as the 2006 World Champion prevailed 6-2.
An inspired Dott produced breaks of 94, 74, 78, and 75 before clinching the win on a re-spotted black in frame eight to move through to a meeting with another former World Champion – Shaun Murphy.
Murphy came through an epic clash with Neil Robertson to clinch three of the last four frames and prevail in a decider.
Robertson compiled a break of 119 en route to a 3-2 lead, and after the next two frames were shared, Murphy fired in a 76 break to level up.
A break of 84 saw Robertson wrestle back the initiative, but after forcing a decider with an 83, Murphy got over the line in style with a ruthless 91 break.
Meanwhile, Mark Allen continued his title defence in Daqing with a comfortable 6-2 defeat of Ali Carter which included top breaks of 52, 69, 57, 119 and 71.
Liang Wenbo fought back from 4-1 down to force a decider against compatriot Ding Junhui, but it was the 2013 International Champion who held his nerve to edge through.
After Liang had gone ahead thanks to an 88 break, Ding replied with breaks of 131, 56 and 63 en route to securing four in a row.
Liang then made 85, 51 and 64 to send it the distance, but Ding recovered to clinch a low-scoring decider and confirm a show-down with defending champion Allen.
International Championship 2019 Results
Wednesday August 7
Jak Jones 3-6 Gary Wilson
David Gilbert 5-6 Mark Selby
Tom Ford 6-4 Andrew Higginson
Joe Perry 2-6 Judd Trump
Mark Allen 6-2 Ali Carter
Ding Junhui 6-5 Liang Wenbo
John Higgins 2-6 Graeme Dott
Shaun Murphy 6-5 Neil Robertson