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World Snooker Championship: Judd Trump says he has rejected offers to join rival tour after reaching quarter-finals

Judd Trump overcomes Tom Ford 13-7 to book place in quarter-finals of World Snooker Championship for 10th time; 2019 champion has spurned advances of rival snooker tour, wants to play somewhere with "history and heritage" - "I don't think I would get out of bed for an exhibition series"

Judd Trump is into the quarters for the 10th time at the Crucible
Image: Judd Trump is into the quarters for the 10th time at the Crucible

Judd Trump revealed he has rejected offers to join a rival snooker tour after easing into the World Championship quarter-finals with a 13-7 victory over Tom Ford in Sheffield.

Trump, the 2019 world champion, says he "would not get out of bed" for a prospective LIV Golf-style breakaway in the sport, insisting he wants to play somewhere with "history and heritage".

The 34-year-old, who will face Jak Jones in the last eight at The Crucible and potentially Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals if he wins, told reporters: "A few people have tried to contact me and I just couldn't be bothered.

"If they try to contact me or my brother I just tell them to go away. I'm very happy where I am, with the tournaments I play in. I need something with history and heritage.

"I need something to play for. I don't think I would really get out of bed for an exhibition series. For me it's about the titles.

Judd Trump toughed out a deciding frame to beat Kyren Wilson in the first round of the Masters
Image: Trump will play Jak Jones in the last eight of the World Championship

"At the end of the day everyone wants more money but this isn't the right time for me. I'd be a lot happier winning my money rather than getting gifted it.

"I love playing in the kind of tournament with something on the line. I don't want to lose and feel nothing. I hate losing. I couldn't imagine walking off and getting paid the same, win or lose. It's not the same.

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"I'd love for World Snooker to big up the prize money and play for more in the future, but I want to do it with something on the line.

"Hopefully they can expand and take us to different territories. I'm just trying to win every tournament and get back to number one [in the world rankings]."

Trump does not see snooker becoming divided

Asked if snooker could encounter the same problems as golf, where the emergence of LV has created a divide in the sport with top names such as Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi-backed circuit, Trump said: "I don't think there's enough players or enough names that could do damage.

"I think Ronnie [O'Sullivan] is the only one if he left - to be honest, I don't think people are that bothered by anyone else.

"I feel like with what I've established in the game alongside Ronnie, if I'm staying here then the tour will be a strong place."

Ronnie O'Sullivan has continued to question his snooker future after a tough win at the World Grand Prix
Image: Ronnie O'Sullivan says he could walk away from the World Snooker Tour if he did not feel valued

Trump, who resumed his match against Ford on Saturday morning 11-5 up, described his performance as "average" and admitted he struggled with the conditions of the table.

"The table was a bit heavy but I think I dealt with it, I wasn't too harsh with myself and I was able to stay patient," said Trump.

"I think it was important to get that 6-2 lead in the first session and I just capitalised. From there you shouldn't really lose it unless you give it away."

Welshman Jones beat fellow qualifier - and 2023 Crucible semi-finalist - Si Jiahui 13-9 to secure a showdown with Trump, before saying: "I feel relieved. It was an absolutely shocking match. Today was a little bit better but I don't know how I won.

"Everyone is expecting a Ronnie-Judd semi-final so I've got nothing to lose and I will just try my best and see what happens."

Higgins: Crucible will be retired before me

Four-time world champion John Higgins, meanwhile, quashed suggestions he could retire later this year.

The 48-year-old - who is playing Mark Allen in the second round and tied at 4-4 with the Northern Irishman after their first session - feels the Crucible will have stopped hosting the World Championship before he decides to walk away.

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Sky Sports' Cam Hogwood explains how the Snooker World Championship could be set to move from the tournament's iconic Crucible.

Speculation over a potential move away from the iconic snooker venue has resurfaced in recent weeks, with Saudi Arabia tipped as a potential host after the nation's Riyadh Season became commercial partners with the tournament.

The Crucible's current hosting deal is due to expire in 2027 having staged the competition since 1977.

"No, I won't retire," Higgins told the BBC. "This venue will be retired before I retire from snooker.

"It's a shame, but with all the noises coming out from important people within the game it seems it will be leaving here in three years' time.

"I've had tears, joy, everything rolled into one, and your life has revolved around this venue, and it will be a sad day when it leaves."

Elsewhere, Stephen Maguire leads 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy 10-6 in the race to 13 frames, with the Scot punching the air after winning the final frame of their second session having clawed back a 63-point deficit.

Stuart Bingham, the champion in 2015, holds a 5-3 advantage over Jack Lisowski, while Kyren Wilson, beaten by O'Sullivan in the 2020 final, leads Mark Selby's conqueror Joe O'Connor 6-2.

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