World No.1 Judd Trump overcame the distraction of a broken scoreboard to breeze through his UK Championship first-round clash against amateur Paul Davison.
The Bristol potter arrived at the first Triple Crown event on the snooker calendar having lifted the Northern Ireland Open trophy for the third successive year just a week earlier – his second ranking event title already this season.
With such good form behind him, Trump predictably started fast against his veteran opponent, who dropped off the professional tour in 2019 but had stunned three-time world champion Mark Williams in German Masters qualification earlier this month.
A silky half century put Trump in front before the scoreboard issue delayed him doubling his advantage, and though Davison hit back in the third the 2019 world champion comfortably prevailed 6-1, rounding off with a ton.
“There was one bad frame, and there were a few distractions – the scoreboard stopped working – but overall I played well, particularly after the interval,” said Trump, 31.
“I think that’s happened to me once before briefly, but not to that extent. It was a bit off-putting and that’s probably why that frame ended up being quite scrappy.
“It was a bit annoying at the time, but as soon as it got sorted I got my concentration back and played my best game.”
Following his Round 1 win over Jamie Curtis-Barrett, defending champion Ding Junhui addressed his concerns about the news that fans could be allowed to attend the UK Championship from December 2, but 2011 winner Trump believes they could be brought back in a safe manner.
And having progressed to the second round of the competition for the eighth successive year, Trump is looking forward to coming up against world No.69 Dominic Dale next.
He added: “It’s been a long time since we played in front of anyone. World Snooker and everyone behind the scenes did an amazing job last time to make sure players were safe, so if they think we're ready then I’d be comfortable with that.
“It’s always a bit of a funny game whenever I play Dominic. He’s a strange character, and he enjoys the attention and the limelight. I think he thrives on the big stage, so he’s a difficult player to play.
“He’s been around a long time, he’s very experienced, but if I play anywhere near how I played tonight I should beat him.”