Potting Perils: The worries and woes of snooker’s sickly stars
It takes a lot to stop the Juddernaut in his tracks, but Judd Trump’s first session at the Crucible was overshadowed slightly by his suspected food poisoning.
Despite looking unwell and losing the opening frame, Trump took an overnight lead, winning the first session against Dominic Dale by the slender margin of five frames to four.
Trump wasn’t the only one suffering, as Graeme Dott suffered a 10-1 onslaught against Joe Perry, who had been far from favourite to win their match at its outset.
With Perry claiming an 8-0 lead in rapid time, Dott managed just one frame to save himself from the indignity of being the second player ever to leave the competition due to a Crucible whitewash.
And it seems the malign could be contagious, as Perry admitted it’s difficult to maintain concentration against an opponent when they’re obviously struggling.
With a meeting against Stephen Maguire scheduled for the next round, Perry will need to snap out of it and find his game again, otherwise he could soon follow Dott in leaving this year’s World Championship.
Finally, Mark Selby – who missed the recent China Open in Beijing due to neck injury fears – also endured a not-too-great opening day in Sheffield.
He skipped the trip to the East in order to make sure he was fit for the home tournament this week, but even that may not have been enough to ensure victory.
At the end of his first session against Barry Hawkins, Selby was down by three frames to six – another victim of the curse that seems to be plaguing some of the sport’s big names during this tournament.