Judd Trump overslept before his English Open quarter-final and reckons home comforts hold the key to scooping ranking event success, writes Will Jennings.
The world No.1 thrashed World Championship nemesis Kyren Wilson 5-1 in Milton Keynes to book a semi-final date against four-time world champion John Higgins.
Trump, who hails from Whitchurch but lives in Chigwell, stayed at the on-site hotel on Thursday evening rather than returning to his Essex home ahead of his match against the world No.6.
He slammed that decision for nearly backfiring and admits taking his mind off snooker back home provides the optimum mentality for the heat of the battle.
Who's interviewing who? 🤔 @announcerphil asks @judd147t about beating Kyren Wilson!— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) October 16, 2020
All four semi finalists at the https://t.co/0mCRoqdsmX English Open are triple crown winners: Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Trump & John Higgins #HomeNations #EnglishOpen pic.twitter.com/NgWtFBA8cB
“I didn’t feel particularly comfortable and was a bit nervy and edgy,” the 31-year-old said.
“There was a lot of hanging around today - every other game I’ve been going home but last night I stayed over and it was a long wait.
“I think I’ll go home again tonight and just take my mind off it, relax, come back tomorrow and hopefully come back a different player.
“I did nothing, really [before the match] - I just stayed in bed and slept, and I think I overslept a little bit.
“Preparation wasn’t great - I don’t like to sit in bed all day and every other day I’ve gone home and taken my mind off the snooker but today was a long wait.
“I was watching the snooker which I don’t really do that much and maybe just overthinking things a bit.
“There was a bit of waiting around and I had to wait around until other games had finished last night to know when I was on.
“Because of what’s going on at the moment, even if I want to come over and practice you’ve got to sit with your mask on and everything - it’s just not comfortable to be around the venue.
“I’ll go home tonight and come back tomorrow fully refreshed - a semi-final against John, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. John’s coming back to form and it’ll be a tough game.”
Trump beat Louis Heathcote, Yuan Sijun, Michael Holt and Gary Wilson to advance to the last eight and breezed past three-time ranking event winner Wilson in style.
The 2019 king of the Crucible has twice battled back from 3-1 down this week but breaks of 112, 101, 56 and 53 blew this year’s World Championship finalist away at the Marshall Arena.
Trump will now meet Higgins on Saturday while defending champion Mark Selby takes on world No.3 Neil Robertson in one of snooker’s most star-studded semi-final line-ups of recent times.
The 17-time ranking event winner says he prefers it that way and can’t wait to cross swords with the Scot under the Saturday night lights.
“It’s an exciting tournament to be in - whenever you’ve got the top players in it’s my preference,” he added.
“I enjoy having to beat the best to get to the final and earn the title.
“Neil [Robertson] and Mark Selby are in the other semi - it’s a great tournament to be involved in and these are the kind of games that I love to get up for.”