Judd Trump slams Celtic Manor conditions after Welsh Open exit

Judd Trump has not been impressed by conditions at the Welsh Open this week, suffering a shock early exit to Hossein Vafaei in the third round.

The world number one lost 4-2 to the Prince of Persia on Thursday afternoon, exiting a ranking event before the quarter-final stage for the first time in 12 months.

Trump had led 2-1, but struggled to get going and eventually succumbed to the Iranian who made a top break of 60 in the final frame.

The Ace has been complaining about the table conditions at Celtic Manor throughout the week, so this is not just sour grapes, but clearly he was especially upset after defeat to Vafaei.

‘It was easy for me at 2-1 up but then he fluked a blue with the balls everywhere,’ said Trump. ‘After that, everything he did turned to gold. In those conditions, anyone’s going to be able to win.

‘It’s just so heavy here. It’s like playing in China and that’s why the standard has been pretty poor from what I’ve seen of the tournament. A lot of my games have been bad. Balls are going safe a lot more often, which doesn’t make for good viewing.

‘The venue’s not great and it’s very humid in there. It’s difficult to play in really. People on the outside who stick the tables in there don’t play snooker in there, so they just set it up and think it all looks good. When you’re out there playing, it’s a different story.

‘I just try and be as consistent as possible but today was just one of those games. I was in control and he’s missed a blue he shouldn’t have gone for and ended up going in the middle pocket. If he doesn’t fluke it, it’s 3-1 as the balls were everywhere.

‘There’s no point dwelling on it – on another day he doesn’t fluke it and I’m in the last 16. It’s just that little bit of luck – I’ve had it recently when I’ve had a bit of luck to get over the line. It’s just the way it goes.

‘It’s not just this tournament, it’s happened in the past – I’ve moaned in the World Championships and no-one ever does anything. I always like to moan after I win, otherwise no-one does anything – but still no-one does anything. It just makes the standard a lot poorer than it would be. Milton Keynes has been very consistent for the past year and the standard has been amazing there. But here it was playing very heavy. Maybe they’d put it in a different room, the standard would have been a lot better. It’s just one of those things.’

For context, after Trump beat Si Jiahui on Wednesday night and made similar points about the tables in Newport.

‘Every tournament I’ve played for the last year has been on a table on its own with no distractions, the table is playing absolutely awful, as well,’ he said.

‘We’ve been lucky in Milton Keynes, playing in the same venue every time it’s been consistent. Travelling around in China all the time we used to get real bad conditions now and again.

‘It’s very, very heavy, very humid. It’s just like if you’re playing football and the pitch is waterlogged, you kick a ball and it comes to a stop.

‘The ball’s not running, you go into the pack and it’s not really splitting, things like that. The cloth feels very heavy, slow conditions, it’s probably the atmosphere in the arena.’

Trump is still in the running for the £150,000 Bet Victor bonus, with Mark Selby his major competitor in the series which is completed at the Gibraltar Open.

The world number one says he may relinquish his bid for the bonus if Selby goes on to win this week and the Gibraltar Open makes a move to Celtic Manor.

‘If Mark goes on and does well here, more than likely I won’t play in the Gibraltar,’ he said. ‘I’ll have to see where it’s being played – if it’s here, maybe I’ll give it a miss.’

A WST spokesperson said: ‘We endeavour to provide the best possible conditions at all of our events and always welcome feedback from the players.

‘WST are delighted with the way the week has gone so far and are extremely thankful to Celtic Manor Resort for providing a world class venue to host the BetVictor Welsh Open.’

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