Judd Trump says snooker needs storylines like the amateurs who are producing shock results at the UK Championship, after he avoided the same fate as some of his peers with an easy first round win.
The world number two thrashed David Lilley 6-1 to move into round two, on the same day defending champion Neil Robertson suffered a surprise defeat to John Astley.
Shaun Murphy complained about amateur involvement in ranking events when he suffered a shock loss to Chinese teenager Si Jiahui earlier in the week.
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“I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our living. We are self-employed individuals and not contracted sportsmen. We don’t play for a team,” said Murphy.
World number one but that does not seem to apply to Trump - who compared the results to the FA Cup third round - or Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has told Murphy he should “better start looking for a job” if they do not like amateurs competing against them.
“You always want to get through that first game, every year there’s shocks and a lot of the top players – or certainly one or two of the top players – seem to lose every time,” said Trump after his win.
“There are a lot of great professionals, and when they do get their chance to play against top players they do win now and again.
You need these storylines. It can’t just be the top boys playing each other all the time – there has to be the FA Cup story where the lower-ranked players get the chance and get through.
Trump went into the event in York on the back of winning the Champion of Champions, and he was pleased to continue his good form at the Barbican.
“It’s difficult. You’re fatigued after and it’s so draining to win an event, you’re just mentally drained,” he said.
“Even though the manner was (convincing) against John (Higgins), you can never relax at any point, so the next day I drove home, which is a long drive, and I didn’t really do much.”
“I’ve had a couple of really good days practice, and then I came up here yesterday so I’m prepared again and this is another big event. You’ve just got to keep that momentum going and enjoy being back playing snooker every week.”
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