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Judd Trump slams “flat” performance following shock World Championship exit to Jak Jones

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Judd Trump dejected following defeat by Jak Jones (Photo credit: Mike Egerton/A Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Judd Trump admits losing to Jak Jones ‘did him a favour’ to avert a potential thrashing at the hands of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the World Championship semi-finals.

Trump slumped to a 13-9 defeat at the hands of Welsh qualifier Jones at The Crucible on Wednesday, ending his hopes of a sixth ranking title of the season.

The world number two produced an error-strewn display and struggled to find his free-flowing best for long periods of the contest, with Jones winning five of the last six frames to pull off the biggest win of his career.

Whilst admitting Jones’ methodical pace did have an affect on his game, a dejected Trump made no excuses for his below-par showing.

“I felt like I had a lot of chances and I didn’t take them,” said Trump. “I had more than enough chances today to win, so I only have myself to blame.

“A lot of the frames were quite slow and I got bogged down. His pace definitely affected me, but that’s not his fault. I just needed to get in and clear up every time, and I didn’t do that.

“It’s not easy to have a good run here. On paper, I would have been the favourite to beat him and then play Ronnie. To be honest, he did me a favour because I would have lost 17-0 playing like that.

“I didn’t play great against Tom [Ford]. The belief of every session was slowly going. In the end it took someone playing half decent who was always going to beat me.

“Every time is tough coming here. It’s a gruelling schedule, playing last night and then again the following morning. Very tiring. Quite flat. Same for both players. Jak dealt with it a lot better than I did.

“It would have helped not playing this morning, to have more time off, but Jak still played pretty well. It’s difficult. I was very tired. It’s not my pace of play.

“Last night was very tiring, playing in the morning and at night. If I was playing well and at my own pace, then I would have been done and dusted early. It went on late last night. I didn’t sleep very good. I missed too many easy balls today.”

Trump kicked off the match with a break of 110 in the opening frame but mustered only two further 50+ breaks in the remainder of the match as Jones clinched a number of hard-fought frames.

When asked asked if he felt Jones could go on to win the tournament, Trump replied: “Honestly, I don’t think so. I would be happy if he does, he’s a nice kid, I would be very happy for him.

“Whoever he plays he’s going going to struggle. But the way he’s scoring and if he played a bit more free-flowing, I think he could certainly have a chance.”

Jones, who reached the quarter-finals on his debut last year, becomes the seventh Welshman to reach the one-table setup at The Crucible and is bidding to become only the third qualifier in history to win the world title.

The world number 44, who saw off Zhang Anda and Si Jiahui in the opening two rounds, clinched victory with a clinical century break and will now face either O’Sullivan or Stuart Bingham in the semis.

He admitted: “I feel good and pleased to get through. I thought Judd struggled. He started with a century and it kind of motivated me.

“He was just looking like typical Judd, but after I went in 3-1 [ahead] at the interval I thought he was playing really slow.

“He wasn’t the fast-flowing aggressive player that he usually is. I noticed it from the beginning and it kind of surprised me, and I took advantage.”