Judd Trump, the youngest ever qualifier for the final stages of a ranking event, was beaten 5-3 by Gloucester’s Robert Milkins in the first round of the Welsh Open at Newport tonight.
Trump, 16, won three matches at the qualifiers in Prestatyn last month but admitted to an attack of nerves as he tasted the big league for the first time.
“I was very nervous and couldn’t really settle down,” he said. “Hopefully I can qualify for more tournaments next season and get used to the conditions.”
The Bristol teenager fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 and won the sixth frame as well to make it 3-3 but Milkins, a semi-finalist in last season’s Irish Masters, clinched a scrappy seventh and secured victory with a run of 92 in the eighth.
Leicester’s Mark Selby staged a valiant recovery when he came from 3-0 down to beat Australian left-hander Neil Robertson 5-3.
Selby looked certain to suffer a heavy defeat when Robertson put together a run of 111 to win the third frame.
However, the match turned when Selby cleared from yellow to pink to win the fourth before compiling breaks of 66, 81 and 97, winning the last three frames without Robertson potting a ball and racking up 385 unanswered points in the process.
Selby’s reward is a second-round meeting with fourth seed Stephen Maguire.
Michael Holt reduced the Welsh contingent to only three by completing a 5-2 victory over Cardiff’s Dominic Dale, who reached the semi-finals of the Malta Cup earlier this month.
“I missed a few through lack of match sharpness and I was a little bit edgy so I was quite chuffed with the result,” said Holt, who has not had any competitive action since the UK Championship last December.
Holt now faces Ken Doherty, who ended a five year ranking title drought by winning the Malta Cup.
Home hopes now rest with Matthew Stevens, Mark Williams and Ryan Day.