Two-ton Trump surpasses Sunny to keep Gibraltar Open title defence on track
Reigning champion Judd Trump kept his Gibraltar Open title defence on track while remaining on course to win the BetVictor European Series with a commanding 4-1 victory over Sunny Akani in round two.
World number one Trump made two centuries – both stunning contributions of 124 – as he eased past his Thai opponent in Milton Keynes.
The Ace, who currently tops the European Series standings, is also on course to collect the £150,000 bonus; the only condition preventing him would be if second-placed Mark Selby were to reach to the final at the Marshall Arena.
Trump made a scintillating start on Thursday with a stunning break of 124 to draw first blood, before doubling his lead by taking a close second frame on the colours.
World number 53 Akani replied with 75 in the next, but another magnificent 124 contribution helped the world number one restore his two-frame buffer.
And a run of 55 was enough to seal the deal, while booking a third-round date with either Liang Wenbo or Robert Milkins.
The Ace remains on a potential collision course with Series title challenger Selby in the semi-finals.
The three-time World champion recovered from 2-0 down to see off 1997 Crucible king Ken Doherty 4-2.
Despite a slow start, the Jester clawed his way back to 2-2, before securing victory with superb back-to-back centuries of 130 and 124.
Elsewhere, world number five Kyren Wilson hit a top break of 105 in his 4-0 whitewash of Fan Zhengyi, while former Masters champion Mark Allen also reeled off four frames without reply against Jamie Curtis-Barrett.
The Pistol made history during his comprehensive victory. Two runs of 70 set the record for the highest duplicated break constructed by the same player in a single frame; eclipsing the benchmark of 64 by fellow Northern Irishman Gerard Greene.
Meanwhile, world number 10 Jack Lisowski was a 4-1 winner over Jak Jones – as was former China Championship victor Luca Brecel, who closed with back-to-back tons of 100 and 112 against Mark King.
Although, there was no joy for Barry Hawkins or Zhou Yuelong, whose top-16 hopes ahead of the World Championship suffered an untimely blow.
Despite a top break of 130, world number 15 Hawkins was ousted in a deciding frame by Matthew Selt, who built on his first-round victory over the returning Stephen Hendry, while world number 18 Zhou lost 4-1 to Alexander Ursenbacher.
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Gibraltar Open 2021 Results
Thursday March 4
Iulian Boiko 4-3 Fergal O’Brien
Mark Allen 4-0 Jamie Curtis-Barrett
Brandon Sargeant 1-4 Aaron Hill
Mark King 1-4 Luca Brecel
Zhou Yuelong 1-4 Alexander Ursenbacher
David Lilley 3-4 Mitchell Mann
Hossein Vafaei 4-1 Allan Taylor
Kyren Wilson 4-0 Fan Zhengyi
Ricky Walden 4-3 Si Jiahui
Chen Zifan 4-3 Leo Fernandez
Chang Bingyu 2-4 Chris Wakelin
Ken Doherty 2-4 Mark Selby
Scott Donaldson 2-4 Joe Perry
Matthew Selt 4-3 Barry Hawkins
Zhao Xintong 4-2 Daniel Wells
Jack Lisowski 4-1 Jak Jones
Judd Trump 4-1 Sunny Akani
Tom Ford 4-2 Jamie Jones
Andrew Higginson 2-4 Stuart Carrington
Tian Pengfei 0-4 Anthony Hamilton