Judd Trump aims jibe at Stephen Maguire after beating him to make semi-finals

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Judd Trump took a swipe at opponent Stephen Maguire after demolishing the Scot 13-6 to book his place in the World Championship semi-finals at the Crucible.

The 29-year-old mocked the Scot’s pre-match assertion that he was a “lucky” player by joking: “I got a lot of luck out there – I think that was the only reason I did win.”

Trump added: “I think it’s obvious that people take it differently. Some people applaud their opponent and some people brush it off like it wasn’t their fault – so maybe that’s just his way of looking at it.”

Judd Trump
There was no love lost between Judd Trump, pictured, and Stephen Maguire (Simon Cooper/PA)

Maguire managed to claw his way back to respectability by taking four of the next five frames including a break of 110 but Trump was in no mood to hang around and swiftly responded with breaks of 68 and 82 to send him over the line with something to spare.

Shrugging off the fact that his win made him the new odds-on favourite for the title, Trump added: “It’s always good to beat anybody that comfortably but there is a long battle ahead.

“It was nice to be playing with no real pressure out there and just being able to fully enjoy it with that kind of lead. It was just important to get it over with as soon as possible.”

Asked to sum up his own performance in one word, Maguire responded: “S**t” – which will duly earn him a £250 fine from the sport’s governing body for swearing in a press conference.

Trump will next face qualifier Gary Wilson whose fairy tale run continued as he converted a 9-7 overnight advantage into a 13-9 win over former two-time finalist Ali Carter.

Gary Wilson
Former taxi driver Gary Wilson reached the semi-finals for the first time (Richard Sellers/PA)

Wilson said: “I dropped off the tour and I wasn’t good enough to get back on. I was having all these uncertain times when I didn’t know if I was going to be a pro again.

“I was desperate to get back on the tour and just scrape a living. So to go from that point to where I am now, in the one-table set-up, is absolutely amazing and the sort of thing you dream of.”

John Higgins admitted he had been helped by some difficult playing conditions after beating pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson 13-10 to reach the world semi-finals for the 10th time.

Robertson called the uneven bounces off the cushions “unbelievable” after his defeat and Higgins admitted: “I think the conditions me more than Neil. The three sessions were absolute torture, and it was so draining mentally.”

Starting the final session with a 9-7 advantage, the Australian twice hauled back to within one frame but Higgins was not to be denied and a 101 clearance set up a last four clash with David Gilbert.

Robertson, whose stunning form had appeared to put him in line for a second title, insisted: “The ball was bouncing all over the place, and the last person you want to be involved in a street-fight with is John.”

John Higgins
John Higgins reached the 10th world semi-final of his career.

Like Wilson, Gilbert has suffered his spells in the sport’s doldrums, almost dropping off the tour in 2011 and winning only one match in four previous World Championship appearances.

Gilbert said: “Who’d have thought I’d end up here? Certainly not me. I have doubted myself a lot over the years.

“I’ve had a lot of own moments and it’s hard to believe in yourself when you’re not showing anything.”

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