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Tenacious Judd Trump sends Ronnie O'Sullivan crashing out of the Players Championship

Judd Trump claimed his third straight win over Ronnie O'Sullivan in Llandudno (credit: Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Judd Trump advanced to the Semi-Finals of the 2017 Players Championship following an impressive 5-3 victory over rival Ronnie O’Sullivan in Llandudno on Wednesday.

The Ace claimed his third consecutive win over the Rocket as he made top breaks of 86, 113 and 60 on the way to securing his place in the Last Four, where either Neil Robertson or Ali Carter await on Friday.

O’Sullivan, who looked close to his best in a commanding 5-1 success over Liang Wenbo in round one, was out to avenge his narrow 9-8 defeat by Trump in the European Masters final back in October.

"I felt like I controlled the game and if I'd have lost that I'd have felt like I threw it away," Trump told ITV4. "My safety was a lot better than his, he didn't have much chance to get in among the balls.

"You get a bit tense when you get close to the line against Ronnie because you know as soon as you leave him in when his back's against the wall he's going to clear up every time.

"I played a lot of exhibitions against him in the summer and learned a lot from him and it's taken my game to another level."

O'Sullivan made a promising start in a repeat of their 2015 World Grand Prix showpiece at Venue Cymru - in which Trump overturned a 7-4 deficit before going on to win 10-7 - dominating the opening frame with runs of 33 and 36 to draw first blood.

The Rocket was given a good opportunity at the start of the second after Trump failed to hit the red with his thin attempt at a safety shot.

However, he was unable to capitalise as he missed the black with the rest, and the Ace pounced with 86 to level things up.

The balls went unexpectedly scrappy in frame three, which Trump generally controlled and eventually won before firing in his 59th century of the season - more than any other player on the tour - with a brilliant break of 113 to double his lead at the mid-session interval.

He had a great chance for 4-1 after the break but missed the black of its spot when trying to develop the final red, which O'Sullivan knocked in before clearing to snatch the fifth frame on the black.

Although, a loose safety from the Rocket on the green in a cagey sixth frame was pounced on by Trump, who restored his two-frame buffer after clearing to the black to snatch a 4-2 lead.

Nevertheless, O’Sullivan responded in trademark fashion by crashing in a quickfire break of 109 to keep his hopes alive but it proved a false dawn as, following a missed attempt at the final red, 'The Ace' sealed victory after clearing to the pink.

"He played too good for me tonight so there's nothing you can do really," conceded O'Sullivan.

"My waistcoat feels a little bit tight, I think I've been eating too much food and putting a bit of weight on around the midriff so I'm going to have to speak to the nutritionist to see if he can sort my diet out."



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Tenacious Judd Trump sends Ronnie O'Sullivan crashing out of the Players Championship

Judd Trump advanced to the Semi-Finals of the 2017 Players Championship following an impressive 5-3 victory over rival Ronnie O’Sullivan in Llandudno on Wednesday.

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