Judd Trump Succumbs to Crucible Curse

The 2019 world champion joins a long list of former first-time champions to fail in defending their crown.

Kyren Wilson is through to the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship after inflicting the Crucible Curse on Judd Trump in Sheffield.

The Kettering cueist was always in front of the reigning champion, eventually recording a deserved 13-9 triumph on Tuesday.

After top seed Trump led 2-1 early on in the contest, it was the challenger who proceeded to forge an advantage that he never really looked like squandering.

The 28 year-old, who received a bye in the opening round before outplaying Martin Gould in the last 16, won both of the opening first two sessions with 5-3 scorelines.

That left Trump with a mountain to climb in the final bout of play, and even though he fought back from 10-6 down to reduce his arrears to just two frames behind, the charge was ultimately too late.

The world number one, a winner of a record six ranking titles during this campaign, never managed to hit his peak form during this tournament.

Whether the break from the lockdown affected him, or if it was the pressure to seal a repeat success, Trump can at least take solace in the fact that he has followed in the footsteps of every former first-time champion at the Crucible in losing upon their immediate return to the famous venue.

The likes of Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis, and John Higgins have all succumbed to the Crucible Curse in the past.

To his credit, Wilson played well and did a professional job in combining solid scoring with his terrific tactical awareness.

The eighth seed has performed well in this tournament in recent years so this run isn’t particularly surprising, and his odds for World Championship glory at LV Bet casino have shortened to 13/5.

Wilson will feature at the single table set-up for the second time in his career, and having played several matches fewer than his upcoming opponent – both Anthony McGill and Kurt Maflin emerged from the qualifiers – fatigue shouldn’t play any important role.

Indeed, Wilson’s temperament is as strong as any on the circuit, so he’ll be beginning to fancy his chances of a maiden world glory.

Earlier in the day, the first semi-finalist was determined, and it was another player who boasts a mighty all-round game.

Mark Selby’s tilt at capturing a fourth World Championship continued with a comprehensive 13-7 defeat of Neil Robertson.

Selby survived a gruelling second-round fixture against Noppon Saengkham that lasted the distance, and the former world number one appeared to be boosted by his lifeline to continue in the 2020 edition.

Robertson never got going, and his demise in Sheffield has become a familiar tale as his struggles prolong in the flagship competition.

Meanwhile, the other two quarter-final fixtures are set for their conclusions later today.

McGill enjoys a 10-6 cushion over Maflin, While Ronnie O’Sullivan fought back from 8-4 behind to tie his high-profile affair with Mark Williams at 8-8.

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