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Brilliant Luca Brecel denies Judd Trump to reach Tour Championship semis

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Brecel denied Trump in Llandudno on Thursday

Luca Brecel completed the Tour Championship semi-final line-up with an impressive 10-6 victory over Judd Trump in Llandudno on Thursday.

The Scottish Open champion hit a top break of 100 and had a further seven contributions over 50 in what was his first match in the elite event.

Although pegged back to 8-6 from 8-3 up, Brecel held his nerve to record his first win over the Ace in a ranking event.

The world number 15 subsequently set up a last-four showdown with John Higgins at Venue Cymru – and what will be a repeat of the Scottish Open final last December, which he won 9-5.

“I played some good stuff and bad stuff,” he told ITV Sport. “It was just nice to get a win over such a top player. It’s good practice for the World Championship.

“I was very calm [when I was pegged back to 8-6] and waiting for my chance. When it did, I took it – like I did in the whole game.

“I’m just so happy to win because this game was huge for me.”

Brecel made a dominant start; taking a scrappy opening frame on the black, before runs of 56 and 58 established a 3-0 lead.

Although Trump stopped the rot before the mid-session interval, contributions of 100, 54 and 78 saw the Belgian win three of the next four frames for a commanding 6-2 advantage heading into the evening.

Uncharacteristically wasteful, the Ace threatened to cut the deficit to 7-4, but missed a black off its spot on 48 and Brecel cleared with 86 for 8-3.

An ever-present at this tournament since its inception in 2019, Trump refused to lie down; clearing from yellow to pink to snatch frame 12.

He then produced back-to-back centuries of 140 – the highest break in Tour Championship history – and 103 to cut the deficit to 8-6.

Nevertheless, Brecel maintained his composure; stopping the rot by dominating the next frame, before a run of 73 sealed the deal.

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