Trump spikes Hawkins with Masters fightback
Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jan 2013 09:09
World number two Judd Trump put his best foot forward to reach the Betfair Masters quarter-finals after surviving a major scare against Barry Hawkins.
Trump, who was forced to change his extravagant footwear during the match due to a lack of grip, looked to be sliding to a shock first-round defeat after Hawkins rattled off three successive frames from 3-2 down to put himself within sight of the win.
However, Trump battled back with a 105 break before edging a tension-filled 10th frame - where Hawkins missed a couple of a straightforward-looking pots with victory within his grasp - to send the match to a decider.
Relieved to to still be in contention, the Bristolian rattled off a brilliant break of 107 in the final frame to claim a 6-5 victory and set up a quarter-final meeting with Scotland's Graeme Dott.
Trump feared the worst before Hawkins let him back in with the missed shots in the 10th frame.
Asked if he felt he was heading out, Trump told BBC2: "Yeah, I didn't really see the angle he had on the first black when he was playing for the yellow, but it looked pretty easy from where I was and the second one I never thought he was going to miss.
"Whoever you play here is going to be a tough game, Barry played really well so hopefully that stands me in good stead for the rest of the tournament."
Trump's bid did not appear to be helped at the outset by his choice of footwear.
The 23-year-old's stud-covered 'Rollerboy Spikes' by French designer Christian Louboutin captured plenty of attention but they were new to Trump and he found them ill-suited to the demands of playing on carpet in Alexandra Palace.
Not that it has put him off wearing them in the future.
He said of his new shoes: "I thought it was time for a change. I've had my other ones for a long time. I went out for the first two frames and tried them on and I was sliding around out there and had to take them off.
"I was all right in the practice room but as soon as I went out there I just started sliding around.
"We're going to have to make a few adjustments so I can wear them.
"It's just a little bit different, I like to stand out now and again."
Having reached the semi-finals last year, Trump is widely fancied to go all the way at the Masters.
However, he was keen to play down the tag of favourite and insists he is still learning his trade.
"I still don't see myself as the favourite. Every tournament I play in I see John Higgins as the favourite. I think John Higgins is proven and I've still only won three tournaments," he said.
"I think people get a little bit carried away and then other people kind of knock down what I've done, I'm still young and won three tournaments already.
"I go into every tournament full of confidence but I've still got a lot to learn and I'm still learning today."
While Trump looks forward to his last-eight showdown with Dott, Hawkins was left to pick up the pieces after seeing victory slip through his fingers.
"I'm devastated, I had the match in my hands and I just handed it to him," Hawkins said.
"At the moment I feel like I can't take any positives. My head's spinning. I'm a bit gutted at the moment.
"I let him off the hook. He played well in the end and when you don't take your chances you get punished and that's what happened to me."
Last year's runner-up Shaun Murphy was also made to fight before sealing his place in the quarter-finals with a 6-4 victory over Ricky Walden.
Fourth seed Murphy looked to be cruising through as he established a 4-1 lead with the aid of a break of 79 in the first frame and a brilliant 130 in the fifth.
However, Murphy failed to make the most of breaks in the 40s in the next two frames as Walden fought back to 4-3.
Walden then levelled it up at 4-4 with a break of 65 but he could not continue his charge as Murphy regrouped to take the final two frames and set up a last-eight meeting with John Higgins.