Judd Trump reacts to win as Gao Yang fails to score a point: ‘It’s hard not to feel bad’

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Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Nine

Judd Trump dished out a battering to Gao Yang at the Northern Ireland Open (Picture: Getty Images)

Judd Trump admits it was ‘hard not to feel bad’ for Gao Yang as he crushed him 4-0 at the Northern Ireland Open without the Chinese youngster scoring a single point.

It was a tough afternoon for the 17-year-old as the former world champion made breaks of 54, 100, 60 and 52 to put the game to bed in very short order.

The Ace racked up a total of 333 points to Gao’s zero, despite feeling that his young opponent did little wrong in the contest.

‘It’s tough, he made a couple of little mistakes in the first couple of frames and I just punished him,’ Trump told Eurosport.

‘If you’re against a top player you can’t afford to go 2-0 down in 20 minutes, because the game is more or less over, my confidence is up and he’s barely had a shot. It kind of set the tone for the match.

‘It’s always enjoyable when you can get in early in the first frame, make a decent break. He had a bad break-off shot second frame and let me in again. It was tough for him really.

‘It’s hard not to feel bad when you’re out there playing, but everyone’s been through it. I’ve been through it, been beat heavy by all the top players.

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‘You have to learn, he didn’t make too many mistakes, just little mistakes on safety shots and he’ll know what he’s got to get to. It’s just a learning curve, he’s very young still and he’ll be back.’

Gao won the 2020 WSF Junior Open to earn a two-year tour card at just 15-years-old and has picked up a number of wins since turning professional, but clearly has a long way to catch up with the talents of Trump.

The world number two also beat Gao 4-0 in the 2020 Northern Ireland Open, making three centuries including a maximum 147.

Trump did reassure Gao that he had been through a similar learning process himself though as he made his way in snooker.

‘The level between the junior game and the professional game…I learned it when I was young, I expected to come through straight away when I turned professional, I lost my first few games,’ said Judd.

‘It sets you straight back, thinking you’re not as good as you thought you were and you’ve got to learn quick.’

Worryingly for the rest of the players in Belfast, Trump reckoned that he only felt at 30-40 per cent in the whitewash win over Gao and thinks there is an awful lot more to come.

Asked where his game is, he said: ‘About 30 per cent, 40 per cent, still a bit rusty, getting there. It was a little bit flattering, he let me in a couple of times, the top players aren’t going to do that.

‘It’s nice to break-build and get the match done quick. I didn’t make too many mistakes while I was in the balls, that’s always good, positioning and touch felt good.

‘Maybe the performance was better but how I felt, how you feel and how you play is a completely different thing, it’s just how I felt out there, it’s my second game in six weeks and that sharpness isn’t quite there.

‘He was letting me in quite easy and the top players aren’t going to do that so I’m not going to fool myself that I was playing unbelievable.’

Trump will now face Lu Ning in the last 32 at the Waterfront Hall as he bids for a fourth straight Northern Ireland Open title.


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump strongly disagree over Northern Ireland Open atmosphere


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan laughs off any concerns over string of defeats in finals

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