WORLD number 11 Judd Trump will join Ding in Saturday’s semi-final after producing a couple dazzling performances to win Group 2 on Tuesday.
After coasting past an out of sorts Stephen Maguire 4-1 in his opening match, the Romford-based potter then comfortably dispatched current world champion Mark Selby 6-1 in the final and he closed the match out with an impressive 119 break.
Trump now moves into the final four where he will play the winner of Friday’s Group 4 and he feels he has every chances of lifting the title.
“I am really pleased with how I played and I know Mark didn’t play his best but I put him under a lot of pressure from the start and he missed a few.” said a delighted Trump.
“Friday’s group could go any way but Ricky Walden is the form player there. Neil (Robertson) has been struggling a little bit apart from the first tournament of the season so it really could be anyone but if I was to have a guess I would say maybe Mark Allen.
“Between now and then I will go back, have more practice, take it easy and watch some of the games to see how people are playing. I am really looking forward to Saturday now. I haven’t been getting through to the latter stages of many tournaments recently so it is nice to be involved.
“I have played some decent stuff this season but there are a lot of top players now and if you don’t play to the best of your ability you are going to get beaten.”
Selby was disappointed with the outcome but admits the better player won.
“A lot of the chances he had were off my mistakes; it wasn’t like he potted a great long red and got in.
“The match before the interval turned it. I went in 3-1 down but could have been 3-1 up with just a couple of shots here and there which I missed where I wouldn’t normally miss.
“If I pot those I am 3-1 up and might win the game. When he was in, as in the first match today, he scored really well.
“I will have a few days off now and then back to the practice table. The UK is next for me, I am not in Germany because Vicky is expecting our first child.”
In the afternoon’s semi-finals, Trump again looked outstanding as he put paid to Stephen Maguire’s hopes as the Scotsman’s miserable run continued.
In the opening match, the sizeable crowd at the Ricoh enjoyed a rare TV match with six times World Champion Steve Davis, who gave it a go before going down 4-1 to World No.1 Selby.
“It was nice to play on a TV table and to play against the World champion,” said the 57 year-old legend.
“There are no guarantees in my position for how often you get to play against the top players. If you are playing in qualifiers you may never get to see them. It is great to play the top players because they are cutting edge and that is good to watch on the table.
“I had my moments out there and I enjoyed the challenge but when it came to it he made an excellent clearance from 53 behind and that is usually what the champions do.
“They are pretty solid in that department when they get a sniff. He put me to bed quite easily even though it wasn’t necessarily a 4-1 scoreline at one stage.”
On Friday (Tomorrow) Neil Robertson takes on Ali Carter and Ricky Walden, who recently won the International Championship title in China, faces Mark Allen.