A comfortable win for Judd Trump over Hossein Vafaei
A comfortable win for Judd Trump over Hossein Vafaei

World Snooker Championship results: Judd Trump beats Hossein Vafaei 10-5


2019 champion Judd Trump made an impressive start to his latest World Championship campaign, running out a comfortable 10-5 victor over Hossein Vafaei at the Crucible.

Five titles and counting for Trump so far this season confirm he returns to Sheffield as one of the tournament favourites, and he was largely untroubled as Vafaei squandered numerous opportunities to make his mark on the match.

Trump led 6-3 overnight, but it could have been a different story had Vafaei taken his early chances, Trump leading 3-0 thanks to breaks of 63, 66 and 72, all in frames where Vafaei was in first.

The Iranian did respond with runs of 60 and 138, but Trump continued to pick up the pieces, moving 6-2 ahead before a hand 74 from Vafaei in the final frame of the session kept his faint hopes alive.

In winning the first frame on Sunday, Vafaei reduced his arrears to 6-4, but Trump dominated thereafter, peeling off three frames in a row to move within touching distance of victory.

Vafaei stopped the rot by winning the next frame on the black, but Trump wasted little time in finishing the job, setting up a last-16 clash with Tom Ford.

The 14th seed claimed his first win at the Crucible at the fifth attempt by turning a 6-3 overnight lead into a 10-6 success over former semi-finalist Ricky Walden.

SHOULD SNOOKER LEAVE THE CRUCIBLE?

“I got the job done in that first session,” shrugged Trump. “I knew it was going to be a bit demoralising for him to be 6-3 down after that performance, so today was about getting a few frames early on and knocking the belief out of him.

“Coming into this event I was a lot more confident than I have been in the last three or four years. It’s nice to know I’m into the second round and I’ve got a few days off so I can sit back and watch other people sweat.”

Selby in big trouble against O’Connor

Four-time champion Mark Selby is on the brink of crashing out at the first hurdle after losing the first session of his first round match 7-3 to debutant Joe O’Connor.

Selby, who questioned his future in the sport after losing to Gary Wilson in the Tour Championship earlier this month, was second best against his Leicester rival, who reeled off five frames in a row to leave himself in a commanding position ahead of Monday’s resumption.

The 40-year-old Selby has endured a dismal season by his standards, reaching one ranking tournament final and two semi-finals, but has traditionally reserved his best form of the season for the Crucible.

Despite sharing the opening two frames, Selby looked distinctly out of sorts and two centuries in three frames sent O’Connor three frames clear, before two further half-centuries sealed a sensational debut performance from the 28-year-old.

O’Connor, who has previously tried and failed seven times to reach the Crucible, is the only debutant in this year’s field, and requires just one more century on Monday to equal the record for a first-time performer at the venue.

Jones continues Crucible love affair; Carter knocked out

Eleventh seed Zhang Anda followed defending champion Luca Brecel out of the tournament as he was hammered 10-4 by last year’s surprise quarter-finalist Jak Jones.

Resuming 5-2 in front after their abridged opening session on Saturday, Jones chiselled his way over the line with a top break of 60, while Zhang’s 95 in the 13th frame proved much too little, too late.

Jones, who beat Neil Robertson last year en route to the last eight, will face either fellow Welshman Mark Williams or last year’s surprise semi-finalist Si Jiahui in round two.

Two-time Crucible runner-up Ali Carter was knocked out by Stephen Maguire, the Scot pulling away in the second session to win 10-7.

The pair were locked together at 7-7 and seemingly on course for a late finish, only for Carter to fall away at the end of what has been a long season for him, only scoring 11 points in the final three frames as Maguire finished strongly.

Shaun Murphy fashioned a 6-3 lead over China’s Lyu Haotian despite a dreadful missed black in the fifth frame that briefly inspired his opponent to claw back a 3-1 deficit and level at 3-3.

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