sport

Trump takes loss on the chin

Judd Trump has written off his stunning UK Championship defeat to world number 50 Mark Joyce as a blip in an otherwise remarkable season.

The 23-year-old will lose his newly-inherited number one ranking to previous incumbent Mark Selby if the Leicester man reaches Sunday's final.

But after reaching five finals already in the current campaign, and landing the 125,000 top prize at the International Championship last month, the disappointment of one early exit is unlikely to linger.

Trump won the UK title last year and had high hopes of retaining the trophy, yet 29-year-old Joyce staged a determined fightback from 5-2 behind to win 6-5 and set up a tussle with Ali Carter in the second round at York's Barbican Centre.

Trump said: "I should never play that bad. You'll never see another world number one play as badly as that."

He added: "It's just a bad performance. It was going to come sooner or later.

"He played all right in the last four frames but he'll have to raise his game a lot to get close to Ali Carter."

Trump made an early century break but it was clear from the early stages he was not at his fluent best, and Joyce seized his chance. Now the Walsall man has Carter in his sights, and coincidentally he beat both Carter and Trump in 2010 to reach the quarter-finals of this very tournament in its final year of being staged in Telford.

"I'm over the moon," Joyce said. "I've got Ali Carter now and I beat him two years ago so hopefully I can do him as well."

Joyce sustained serious injuries soon after his run in Telford, setting his career back.

He said: "I got attacked and had a fractured elbow and a fractured eye socket, which ruined the rest of that season. Physically it cost me four months but mentally it cost me a lot longer."

Carter, 33, was a scrappy winner against 55-year-old Steve Davis, coming through 6-2 against the man who won the UK title six times in the 1980s and also reached the 2005 final.

Davis said: "Ali's a potential winner of the tournament so I shouldn't moan."

China's last hope, Cao Yupeng, joined compatriots Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo in suffering a first-round exit, in his case a 6-1 humbling by 40-year-old Hastings potter Mark Davis. Ding and Liang both bowed out on Saturday.

Mark Davis plays new title favourite John Higgins next, on Wednesday evening.

Shaun Murphy, the 2008 UK champion, began his campaign with a 6-3 win over Gloucester's Robert Milkins, and in-form world number 11 Stuart Bingham notched a 6-2 victory against 21-year-old Jack Lisowski to set up an attractive second-round tussle with Scotland's Stephen Maguire.

Today sees the final four first-round matches played, with Neil Robertson and Mark Williams among those in action, along with 17-year-old Belgian Luca Brecel who takes on Wuxi Classic champion Ricky Walden this evening.