For the second consecutive night at the Scottish Open, Judd Trump was critical of his own performance after grinding out victory.
The 2019 world champion could even have fallen further behind had Xiao not missed a simple blue at the start of the third frame with the table looking kind.
“It was awful,” a brutally honest Trump said in the Eurosport studio where he was joined by Ronnie O’Sullivan.
“I’m surprised anyone is still awake or you haven’t all gone out. That was so bad.
“Yeah, he gave it to me in the end. He was 2-0 up, he was looking good. I think he had a chance to go 3-0 up.
“He was getting his chances but wasn’t taking them. So yeah, I’m a little bit confused. I don’t really know what happened there, but yeah, I got through somehow, but it wasn’t pretty.”
O’Sullivan believes that Trump is a “different player” now than he was a few years ago and he was full of praise for the 33-year-old’s mentality.
“I’ve always said it’s how good your bad game is, like Mark Allen is showing. It’s great to win when you’re not playing great. Because if you start flying then it’s a different game again.
“I just think he’s a different player to what he was four or five years ago. He probably can’t see it because you just go by feelings sometimes.
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“There’s a lot of good safety out there, a lot of good match play. There’s the key moments, he’s 2-0 down, ‘bang, I’ve got to get back in the game’ and he gets back in the game.
“They’re not easy things to do. To Judd it might feel easy, but for 127 other players it’s not that easy, do you know what I’m saying?
“He can only see the game through his eyes. He just thinks it’s easy and he should be playing well. But for the majority of the other guys out there it’s not an easy game.
“If I was in his corner I’d be saying, ‘listen, this is good stuff. Let’s just keep taking these, it’s great’. You grow as a player.”
Despite his poor form, Trump is hopeful that his game will improve.
He said: “In a lot of the games, I’ve felt a million times better. A game against Ronnie I’ve felt a million times better, Mark Allen, and I’ve lost every single time.
“There’s always a chance I can sort of turn it on or whatever. Maybe if I can get in the semi-final… new cloth or something then I’ll find it a little bit easier.”
Concluding, Trump said: “As I said before, I’m struggling a little bit with my tip. I think I need a really reactive table to help me out a little bit.”
To which O’Sullivan quipped that playing with a tip you’re not comfortable with is like “trying to win Wimbledon with a fractured wrist”.
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