Judd Trump fires Mark Selby dig and rages at British Open conditions

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Judd Trump complained about the conditions at the British Open after scraping through his first-round tie. The 31-year-old won 3-2 agaist Mitchell Mann to progress, but is in danger of losing his world No.1 spot to Mark Selby should things not go his way at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Trump must reach at least the quarter-finals of the tournament, which is being held for the first time since 2004, if he is to keep hold of his status as the best player in the world.

Changes to the snooker calendar will see his ranking points drop this week, meaning he could lose the top spot he has held since August 2019.

He remained bullish when questioned about the situation, though, and stated that he had “clearly” been the best player on the circuit in the time since he reached the summit.

He said: “It’s not something I kept an eye on.

I presumed that when Mark won that [the World Championship] that he’d be No.1, but obviously that’s not the case.

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“It’s a tough one really because I think I’ve performed a miracle to be No.1, not winning the Worlds in the last two years, with how heavy the ranking points are favoured in that tournament.

“I’d be disappointed, not that I don’t think Mark deserves it, but quite clearly I’ve been the best player over the last two years. So for him to overtake me is probably a little bit of a fault with the ranking system.”

Trump went on to say it would be a particularly difficult pill to swallow if he lost his crown over a best-of-five match.

He said: “You’re obviously appreciative of any tournament, but a best-of-five is always going to be a flip of a coin.

“Best-of-seven is tough enough, but best-of-five… It’s always going to be a lottery, this tournament, there’s going to be some surprise results, you’re just hoping the conditions are good and best players will come to the top.”d

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He very nearly crashed out in the first round of the British Open, and would have done so had Mitchell Mann not missed a crucial blue in the deciding frame.

Despite coming out on top in that match, Trump was critical over the “definitely not level and very, very pingy” tables at the Morningside Arena.

He said: “It shouldn’t really be like that in the first round, the conditions were just so bad.

It’s frustrating because I come in and felt I was playing well. He let me in in the first frame and I had the biggest bounce you’ll ever see.

“It’s frustrating as a player, you put the work in, I felt good on a 30-odd break, thinking of making a century, settle down straight away and then I’m out of position and 1-0 down.

In a best-of-five it could be 33 per cent of the match. There was another time the ball rolled off, in a best-of-five you don’t need that. I’m guessing it’s the venue, a little bit uneven. You don’t mind losing but you don’t want it to be to do with the table.”

He continued: “It’ll just get worse because the tables are very heavy. It’s going to be tough to make breaks out there. I’d rather get beat than that kind of thing happen, hopefully it’s better next game.”

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