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Trump salutes “pinnacle” Masters crowd after dramatic Wilson win

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Trump edged out Wilson on the final black in a thriller at Ally Pally

Judd Trump saluted the “pinnacle of crowds” at the Masters after edging out Kyren Wilson in a first-round thriller at Alexandra Palace.

The reigning champion scraped through to the quarter-finals by the skin of his teeth on Tuesday, booking a last-eight date with Ali Carter.

Trump trailed 3-0 as Wilson opened with breaks of 65 and 76 before snatching frame three on the pink, but reeled off the next five with a top break of 101 putting him on the brink of victory.

His opponent rallied and produced a sublime 58 clearance from 53-8 down to force a decider, in which he took control with a run of 51 putting him 55-0 to the good.

However, Wilson marginally failed to get cover after missing a tricky red to the right centre, and a nerveless Trump dished up with 65 to seal a dramatic victory.

“There must be something about this venue,” he said. “It’s amazing to play in front of these fans. I’m so happy to be through to the next round.

“It’s just the atmosphere, the excitement and buzz of playing in London. To be honest, this is the one [tournament] I get excited by. I know the World Championship is special, but I get excited to come here.

“For me, this is the pinnacle of crowds. It doesn’t get better than playing in front of these crowds. The noise out there is deafening when you’re playing well. It’s something that every top player loves.

“It was a little bit of a scrappy game. It was nip and tuck the whole way through. It was a game of very fine margins. I felt like I threw it away at 5-4. Kyren made an amazing break to go five-all and then he looked like he was going to get over the line in the last frame. He just left that little gap [for the opening red] and I took them quite well.”

Indeed, Trump was delighted with the way he held himself together under the most extreme pressure, revealing a technique that enabled him to make the match-winning clearance.

“I felt quite nervy out there from the start,” he added. “I couldn’t even chalk my cue at one point.

“Under pressure, because I’m not as relaxed, I shorten my backswing and I think that helps with my positioning sometimes. It seems to make the position side absolutely pinpoint with every shot. There wasn’t really a point in the break when I could’ve missed, unless I had a humongous twitch.

“My game is good. Sometimes when I come here, I’m not fully relaxed in the first round. Coming here, coming to the World Championship, coming to the UK [Championship], it’s a different feeling. You just don’t want to go out in the first round.

“I’m someone that’s never flown in the first round; I take a while to get into it. You’ve just got to do anything you possibly can to try and buy yourself time.”

Wilson, who had wife Sophie and two children Finley and Bailey in the crowd, could not hide his disappointment as his modest campaign continued with another early exit.

“I’m absolutely sick. I could be a robot and try and be professional, but I’m fuming to be honest,” he said. “I should never have lost that match.

“That’s just how my season’s gone. All year, it’s been exactly the same; I don’t think I’ve played a bad match yet. It’s just so difficult at this level.

“I just can’t believe I’ve left that red through the gap. Every credit to Judd, you’ve got to hold yourself together and make the clearance. I’m disappointed not to finish it off, I should have.

“I don’t just want to be losing 6-5 on the black, I want to be winning these events. That’s what I turned professional for, this is what gets the juices flowing. I think I’m going to go and hibernate for two weeks!”