Judd Trump admits he will be “trying his absolute best” to finally get his hands on the Champion of Champions trophy after safely progressing to the semi-finals in Bolton.
The world number two advanced as the Group One winner as the popular invitational event commenced at the Bolton Whites Hotel on Monday.
Trump endured a tricky start against World Seniors champion David Lilley; recovering from losing the opening frame before prevailing 4-1.
However, the Ace went into overdrive against Ryan Day, who defeated Stephen Maguire 4-2 earlier on, with breaks of 104, 68, 67, 61 and 52 sealing a comprehensive 6-0 whitewash.
Runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson in 2014 and 2019 respectively, Trump is still yet to lift snooker’s second-most prestigious invitational title.
But the 22-time ranking event winner is determined to put that right this year.
“The first game today was tough; I didn’t play my best,” Trump told Live Snooker.
“I improved as the day went on and as the frames went on. Tonight, I started off really well and put him under pressure early.
“In the end, it was obviously comfortable. Ryan Day’s a great player, so any kind of win against him is always good.
“To win any game at this event is good, but to win 6-0 comfortably and play well obviously fills you with confidence for the rest of the event.
“This is a very prestigious event and one that I haven’t won before, so I’ll be trying my absolute best to get this one ticked off the CV.”
A Champion of Champions ever-present since the inaugural event in 2013, Trump is through to the semi-finals for the third year running.
There, he will play the winner of Group Four on Friday night, with Robertson, Kyren Wilson and Mark Williams among his potential opponents.
Having captured 15 titles over the past three years, the Ace hopes that landing this trophy will pave the way to him eventually completing a clean sweep on the tour.
“It’s always good to be consistent in these events because there are a lot of top players,” he added.
“It’s very hard to do well all the time but if you keep being consistent then sooner or later, you’ve got to knock that door down and get over the line. Hopefully, it’s this year.
“This event is super special. It always seems to be won by one of the top players with an amazing standard in the final and earlier rounds.
“Hopefully if I can keep progressing the way I have done, I can get this one ticked off and go one step further to winning all the events on the calendar.”
Champion of Champions 2021 Results
Monday, November 15
Judd Trump 4-1 David Lilley
Stephen Maguire 2-4 Ryan Day
Judd Trump 6-0 Ryan Day