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Trump beats Ding test to reach Crucible quarter-finals

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Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Judd Trump fought past Ding Junhui with a 13-9 win to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship in Sheffield.

England’s Trump surged into a 5-1 lead, China’s Ding hit back to go 9-7 in front, but Trump claimed victory in style with six frames in a row.

In the battle of the former champions, four-time winner John Higgins beat 2015 champion Stuart Bingham 13-11.

Kyren Wilson made a stunning comeback from a five-frame deficit to beat Barry Hawkins 13-11.

In a high-quality contest, Hawkins made four centuries in the opening session to lead 6-1 and went 9-7 ahead in the next.

Wilson responded to make it 10-10 and completed victory in tremendous fashion by compiling back-to-back centuries.

“I had to make it happen and stay positive,” said 27-year-old Wilson, who now faces 16th seed David Gilbert.

Hawkins, beaten by Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2013 final, was in control with a blistering start but Wilson turned the match around as the pair shared nine century breaks, a record for a second-round match at The Crucible.

Wilson, nicknamed ‘The Warrior’, showed his battling qualities as well as composure in among the balls, with a 125 clearance and a 132 completing the victory.

“I was just on autopilot. It was a matter of staying in the present and taking the chance when it came,” he added.

“I walked in the dressing room and my team said to me: ‘He’s playing like Superman’. I knew I’d been practising hard – it’s about being patient and not forcing it to come and fortunately it did.”

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Higgins and Bingham were level pegging at 4-4 and 8-8, but the Scot – runner-up the last two years – made trademark counter-clearances for an 11-9 advantage.

Englishman Bingham responded by equalling the contest once more, but Higgins showed his class by taking the two frames he needed to advance and comes up against Neil Robertson next.

On facing Robertson, Higgins said: “I am certainly the underdog.

“Neil is not tournament favourite for no reason. He is playing with a lot of confidence and will be tough to stop. I have to play my own game. He is the type of player that will add more world titles to his CV, he is too good to be stuck on one.”

Bingham added: “John needs to improve but the man to beat is Neil. I was looking forward to playing against him.

“But if anyone can stop him, John can, he has the all-round game especially if he can get his scoring boots on.”

Ali Carter, a two-time finalist, also reached the last eight by coming from behind to beat Zhou Yuelong of China 13-9.

Carter had fallen 5-1 and 9-7 behind after the first two sessions, seeing Zhou make two centuries, but won six frames in a row to advance and faces fellow qualifier Gary Wilson next.

Judd Trump

‘I had to raise my game’ – Trump

In the pick of the second-round matches, Masters champion Trump looked out of sorts in the second session after making the perfect start, but showed signs of his increasing maturity in the third with breaks of 93, 79, 54 and 103 to dispatch dangerous opponent Ding.

World number seven Trump, who also won the Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix this year, saw world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan and number two Mark Selby exit from his half of the draw and will come up against Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in the next round.

Trump said: “I have probably been the worst player in the tournament so far so I knew I had to raise my game. I practised hard and was prepared to go out and fight.

“Neil Robertson is the massive favourite with Kyren Wilson, they have been leagues above anyone else so far. I just keep competing and the further I go in the tournament, the more self-belief I will get.”

Ding said: “He played great. I have nothing to show for my performance tonight. He came back strongly and played so well.

“Everyone says he will win the world title, everyone believes it. We will see.”

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