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Judd Trump topples Hossein Vafaei to reach World Championship last 16

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Hossein Vafaei slams “smelly” Crucible conditions and calls for World Championship move

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World Snooker Championship 2024 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

Trump beat Vafaei 10-5 on Sunday (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Judd Trump booked his place in the World Championship last 16 after wrapping up a 10-5 victory over Hossein Vafaei on Sunday.

The 2019 champion – and winner of five ranking events this season – made a strong start to his latest quest for a second Crucible crown, while avoiding a second successive first-round exit in Sheffield.

Trump, who was beaten 10-6 by Anthony McGill at this stage 12 months ago, resumed at 6-3 to the good against the Iranian.

The world number two lost the opening frame of the second session, but won four of the next five to wrap up his second Crucible victory in three years over Vafaei, who he also defeated 10-4 in 2022.

“It was a tough draw, though I have always played well against Hossein and I enjoy playing him,” Trump told WST.

“I made some good clearances in the first session and that helped put the match to bed. I didn’t want to go out in the first round two years in a row.

“I have come here with a lot of confidence, after such a good season. It’s nice to feel part of the tournament now and I can get excited about the second round.”

There, he will play Tom Ford, who ended his wait for a maiden Crucible win on his fifth appearance with a 10-6 victory over Ricky Walden.

Appearing as a seed here for the first time, the world number 14 was 6-3 to the good upon the contest’s resumption, before breaks of 85 and 82 put him on the brink of victory at 9-5 up.

Walden, who reached the World Championship semi-finals in 2013, took the next frame, but it proved a false dawn with Ford finally breaking his duck at the venue.

However, Mark Selby is in danger of an early exit after falling 7-2 behind against inspired debutant Joe O’Connor.

The four-time World champion, who was runner-up to Luca Brecel 12 months ago, could largely just watch and admire with his fellow Leicester cueist showing no signs of nerves on his Crucible bow.

Indeed, O’Connor made breaks of 122, 67, 101, 74 and 61 as he reeled off five straight frames from 2-2, to move three away from dumping Selby out at this stage of the tournament for the first time since 2018.

Meanwhile, Ali Carter fell at the first hurdle for the second year running after going down 10-7 against Stephen Maguire, who marked his return to the Crucible with an impressive win.

Resuming at 5-4 to two-time runner-up Carter, it was nip and tuck until the Captain led 7-6, with the Scotsman dominating the last four frames to prevail.

Zhang Anda was another seed sent packing. This season’s International Championship winner was sent packing following a commanding 10-4 defeat by Jak Jones.

A quarter-finalist on debut 12 months ago after beating Carter and Neil Robertson, the Welshman claimed yet another scalp in Sheffield to book his place in round two.

Elsewhere, Shaun Murphy established a 6-3 overnight lead against Lyu Haotian, winning the last three frames of their opening session with a top break of 111 along the way.

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World Snooker Championship 2024 Schedule

*Indicates final session

Sunday April 21

Round One

Zhang Anda 4-10 Jak Jones*
Mark Selby (2-7) Joe O’Connor
Judd Trump 10-5 Hossein Vafaei*
Shaun Murphy (6-3) Lyu Haotian
Ali Carter 7-10 Stephen Maguire*
Tom Ford 10-6 Ricky Walden*