Judd Trump blamed the table for his cagy win over Luca Brecel at the Northern Ireland Open, saying “there are shots you can’t take on” in those conditions.

The world number one and defending champion came through a final-frame decider to book a fourth-round match with Martin Gould later on Thursday.

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Trump missed some important shots during the match, with the 31-year-old revealing to Eurosport how a “heavy table” had made it trickier.

“It was a bit of a struggle, the conditions were very hard,” said Trump, who made a fifth career maximum 147 break on Wednesday.

“The table was very heavy, it’s been heavy the whole tournament. It makes my performance yesterday look even better on that table.”

Trump explains what a ‘heavy table’ means for players

Pressed on what “heavy” actually meant, Trump continued: “It’s freezing cold in there. It’s damp. It’s hard to screw the ball back and to get any kind of purchase on the white.

“The cushions are bouncing all over the place. It shouldn’t really play like that after a couple of days.”

Trump is targeting a third successive title at the Northern Ireland Open, which is actually taking place at Milton Keynes’ Marshall Arena due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“If you’re playing well, you don’t notice anything,” added Trump.

“But as soon as you get a difficult table and you’re not hitting the ball right through… Ronnie [O’Sullivan] is probably the best in the world at getting through each shot. He’ll probably go out and make four tons on that table now. But it’s playing very tough.

“It’s a completely different game on that kind of table. There are shots you can’t take on, there are screw-backs I can’t play, all different shots. You’ve got to completely change your game. Normally on those tables you see a lot of bad frames, a lot of scrappy frames and balls running safe.”

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