Judd Trump looking to put the frighteners on Crucible rivals

Judd Trump wants a return of 'naughty snooker' to help break the shackles and win the Betfred World Championship.

Judd Trump seen in action in last year's World Championship semi-final against Stuart Bingham (Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire).

Since breaking through in 2011 to win the China Open and reach the Crucible final, only to lose to John Higgins, 26-year-old Trump has been tipped as a future world champion.

But the former world No 1 and UK champion believes he has put himself under too much pressure to deliver silverware, allowing his free-flowing game to be curbed.

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Trump wants to “scare other players” again and has started enjoying his snooker in 2016, reaching the Masters semi-finals, winning the Championship League, then clinching this month’s China Open.

Now the Bristol potter says he wants snooker’s biggest prize of all, the World Championship, as he prepares for today’s opening round match against China’s Liang Wenbo.

“I didn’t have a great season until January, because I was putting too much pressure on myself,” Trump told The Yorkshire Post.

“As soon as I enjoy myself, I play with freedom, like in China I proved that. I need to get back to that state of mind.

“That’s what happened five years ago when I got to the final. I could blast through the tournament, and when you do show you are enjoying yourself, it scares other players.

“If you look at people playing with freedom, then Ronnie (O’Sullivan) is the best at it.

“He goes out there, people think he is not trying, but he is. It’s just the way you need to go about it in the World Championship.

“If I can get that right, I will have a good chance. There’s a lot of nervous energy wasted and it does tire you out. The best way is to ease your way through the tournament, not too much stress, and save it all for the semi-final and final.”

Yesterday, world No 1 Mark Selby held off a fightback by Robert Milkins to eventually win 10-6.

Trailing 7-2 overnight, qualifier Milkins won the opening four frames to cut the deficit to just one frame, before Selby – who faces another qualifier in Sam Baird next – regained his composure to win 10-6.

Four-time champion John Higgins beat Ryan Day 10-3.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has avoided a fine after snubbing his mandatory post-match press conference following his first-round win, World Snooker issuing a warning, because it is his first “breach of contract” of the season.