Judd Trump would not ‘get out of bed’ for rival tour after rejecting offer

Judd Trump has revealed he rejected offers to join a rival snooker tour after cruising into the quarter-finals of the World Championship with a 13-7 win over Tom Ford at the Crucible.

Trump says he has no interest in the prospective LIV-style breakaway, which is understood to emanate from the Far East and requires a commitment to play in eight regular events plus a grand final in exchange for a six-figure sign-on fee.

“A few people have tried to contact me and I just couldn’t be bothered,” said Trump.

“If they try to contact me or my brother I just tell them to go away. I’m very happy where I am, with the tournaments I play in.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day Seven – The Crucible
Judd Trump says he has no interest in quitting the World Snooker Tour (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I need something with history and heritage. I need something to play for. I don’t think I would really get out of bed for an exhibition series.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan has already effectively ruled himself out of any parallel tour by signing a deal to play in World Snooker Tour events in Saudi Arabia for the next three years.

Although the WST recently relaxed its rules allowing contracted players to appear in other events provided they do not clash with its own, the scale of the prospective Far East tour makes committing to both impossible.

Trump, who said contact had been initiated in recent months via his brother Jack, believes that without the sport’s biggest names the threatened breakaway is already redundant, adding: “I don’t think there’s enough players or enough names that could do damage.

“I think Ronnie is the only one if he left – to be honest, I don’t think people are that bothered by anyone else. I feel like with what I’ve established in the game alongside Ronnie, if I’m staying here then the tour will be a strong place.

“For me it’s about the titles. At the end of the day everyone wants more money but this isn’t the right time for me. I’d be a lot happier winning my money rather than getting gifted it.

“I love playing in the kind of tournament with something on the line. I don’t want to lose and feel nothing. I hate losing. I couldn’t imagine walking off and getting paid the same, win or lose. It’s not the same for me.

“I’d love for World Snooker to big up the prize money and play for more in the future, but I want to do it with something on the line. Hopefully they can expand and take us to different territories. I’m just trying to win every tournament and get back to number one.”

Resuming 11-5 in front, Trump fired breaks of 107 and 84 to complete his win and seal his place in the last eight for the 10th time in his career.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day Eight – The Crucible
Trump swiftly dispatched Tom Ford to reach the Crucible quarter-finals (Nigel French/PA)

Trump, who will play Welsh qualifier Jak Jones in the next round, described his performance as “average”, and added: “The table was a bit heavy but I think I dealt with it, I wasn’t too harsh with myself and I was able to stay patient.”

Jones booked his place in the last eight for the second straight year after dredging his way to an “absolutely shocking” 13-9 win over last year’s semi-finalist Si Jiahui.

Resuming 9-7 in front after Friday’s first two sessions, Jones won a war of attrition against the Chinese player that was under serious threat of being pulled off and forced to resume later on Saturday.

Jones said: “I feel relieved. It was an absolutely shocking match. Today was a little bit better but I don’t know how I won.

“Everyone is expecting a Ronnie-Judd semi-final so I’ve got nothing to lose and I will just try my best and see what happens.”

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day Eight – The Crucible
Stephen Maguire established a 10-6 lead over Shaun Murphy (Nigel French/PA)

Stephen Maguire punched the air after winning an epic final frame of the second session of his Crucible grudge match against Shaun Murphy to seal a 10-6 advantage.

The pair, who have feuded for two decades over an incident in which Maguire was penalised a frame for forgetting his chalk, resumed on Saturday with the Scot holding a slender 5-3 lead.

And after barely being separated for much of the session, Maguire showed his emotions when he sunk the pink after clawing back a 63-point deficit in the 16th frame, putting clear air between the pair ahead of Sunday’s concluding session.

Mark Allen and John Higgins are locked together at 4-4 at the first session of their second round tie. The Northern Irishman started with a break of 119 in the opening frame but both players struggled and the Scot took the final frame of the day to pull level.

Kyren Wilson leads qualifier Joe O’Connor 6-2 after the first session of their second-round clash, while Jack Lisowski trails 5-3 against former champion Stuart Bingham, with both contests resuming on Sunday.