Judd Trump survived a big scare to beat Xiao Guodong 4-2 and reach the Scottish Open quarter-finals in Edinburgh.
The 2019 world champion trailed his opponent 2-0 and could 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,” Trump admitted in the Eurosport studio.
“I’m surprised anyone is still awake or you haven’t all gone out. That was so bad.”
Trump’s disastrous start began with a missed blue which allowed Xiao to swoop in immediately, with the two-time ranking event finalist notching a 95 break to take the opener.
It was a similar story in the second frame as Trump missed a thin black, allowing Xiao more table time before a brilliant split on the reds carted him to a break of 60. Although Xiao briefly returned to his chair, he soon confirmed a 2-0 lead with another knock of 61.
But that was where it started to unravel for the 33-year-old from China. Despite Trump repeatedly gifting him foul points in the third – and, in truth, throughout the match – Xiao was unable to profit as he lost a scrappy frame to see his lead halved.
Trump finally put a scoring run together in the fourth as a break of 69 saw him draw level, despite continuing to look out of sorts on the main table.
Xiao had more chances in the fifth to put Trump under pressure, but a missed green off its spot – “even at amateur level you can’t miss that green” scolded Alan McManus in the studio – saw any remaining composure disappear, with Eurosport expert Ronnie O’Sullivan suggesting his “brain was gone”.
Trump continued to miss shots but by this point it mattered little, with only one player seemingly capable of keeping it together, as the Ace in the Pack limped over the line.
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson also reached the last eight with a 4-2 win over Scotland’s Anthony McGill. McGill missed a shot to take the match to a decider, missing the final black in the sixth frame as Robertson swooped in to pinch a place in the last eight.
Next up, Robertson will play either Mark Selby, who edged out Jack Lisowski 4-2 to seal his place in the next round.
‘The Jester’ raced into a three-nil lead before his opponent made him sweat by winning the next two.
Selby needed a touch of good fortune to see out the match as Lisowski fouled by inadvertently potting a red.
Three-time world champion Mark Williams is out after he squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Joe O’Connor. The world No. 55 will face Ricky Walden on Friday after he got the better of Sam Craigie 4-1.
Kyren Wilson defeated Zue Yuelong 4-2 to set up a match with his namesake Gary Wilson, who ran out a 4-3 winner over Hossein Vafaei.
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