Judd Trump and five other former champions make Crucible last eight

Judd Trump cruised into the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship for the fourth straight year and said it would be a shame if he finished his career without landing a dream Crucible final against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Six-times champion O’Sullivan is the only big name missing from an unprecedented last-eight line-up which comprises six former winners of the illustrious trophy, after Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy converted healthy overnight leads into routine wins on Monday evening. The other three former champions are Mark Williams, Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham.

Trump completed a 13-8 victory over David Gilbert and bemoaned the fact that O’Sullivan’s shock second-round loss to Anthony McGill on Friday night had scuppered a potential “dream final” between the sport’s two most popular players – for the time being at least.

Trump said: “I’ve learned a lot from Ronnie over the last 10 or 15 years and hopefully we can have many more match-ups, and hopefully one day we can get that dream final.

“It would be a shame if it didn’t happen, but it’s so hard. He’s been to so many finals already and I’m still progressing, and hopefully over the next few years we’ll time it right. It would be amazing if it did happen, for snooker and ourselves.”

Quick Guide

World snooker championship: quarter-final draw


Anthony McGill (Sco, 16) v Stuart Bingham (Eng)
Mark Williams (Wal, 12) v Mark Selby (Eng, 4)

Neil Robertson (Aus, 3) v Kyren Wilson (Eng, 6)
Shaun Murphy (Eng, 7) v Judd Trump (Eng, 2)

Trump will next face Murphy, the 2005 champion, who converted a 10-6 advantage into a 13-7 win over the Masters champion, Yan Bingtao, continuing a timely return to form after an underwhelming season in which he managed to reach a solitary ranking tournament semi-final.

A keen student of the sport, Murphy revealed the inspiration he gains from the weight of history at the famous venue, and believes the player who overcomes that pressure to lift the trophy next week will have richly deserved their crown.

“I sat out in the arena today and I was very conscious that it was the place where Cliff Thorburn made his 147 and Alex Higgins brought out his daughter and obviously the famous missed black – I certainly have a sense of how special it is,” Murphy said.

“Whoever does take the trophy home this year will have perhaps played the best of anyone in this tournament before. It’s a very strong last eight, as it should be in the blue riband event of the season.”

Bingham compiled two centuries as he reeled off the three frames required to seal a 13-6 win over Jamie Jones and book his place back in the last eight for the first time since he won the tournament in 2015. He will now face McGill.

Selby completed the quarter-final line-up by turning his 9-6 overnight lead into a 13-7 win over Mark Allen. The three-times champion, who faces the in-form Mark Williams in potentially the tie of the next round, made a break of 132 in the penultimate frame and said: “I feel good in my game, and I think that’s showing. I feel like every part of my game is really strong at the moment.”

source: theguardian.com