Reigning world champion Judd Trump may have only dropped one frame at this year’s Betway UK Championship, but he insists he must improve if he is to claim the crown for a second time.
Having earlier cruised past Moroccan world number 127 Amine Amiri, the 30-year-old - who already has three ranking titles to his name this season - breezed into the third round with a 6-1 thumping over Mei Xiwen.
And despite notching a ton and four half-centuries en route to sealing a spot in the last 32, Trump was not wholly satisfied with his performance at the York Barbican, but explained a renewed level of consistency had helped him get over the line.
“I wasn’t great,” he said. “I expected a tough game but he struggled a bit out there. He beat Ronnie [O'Sullivan] earlier this season so I thought he’d come out and play really well.
“My cue ball control wasn’t the best at the start and I did what I needed to do, but if I’m going to go any further I think I have to improve by some way.
“In these big events you’re not always going to play at your best all the time so it’s just important that you get through to the next round and give yourself a chance to lift such a great trophy.
“I’d say I’m at about 70 per cent of the level I showed at the World Championships or the Masters, but I’m managing to grind out wins now that perhaps I wouldn’t have got through three or four years ago.”
While admitting he wasn’t fully at the races, Trump safely secured a spot in round three for the third season in succession to aid his bid to become just the fifth player in history to hold all three Triple Crown titles concurrently.
And although he insisted his focus remains on taking each game as it comes on one of the most prestigious stages in the game, the world number one reiterated his desire to join the coveted list of players who have managed such a feat.
He said: “I’ll keep practicing and doing my best to prepare for each game as it comes. It can be as simple as hitting a good shot or making a good break and then suddenly you’re flying.
“After I started the season well the record was something I looked at. A lot of people have mentioned it and it’s such a rare accomplishment that it would be unbelievable.
“If I can achieve something like that and be mentioned alongside the likes of those that have done it at the end of my career then that would be amazing.”