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Trump takes to baize, while Hawkins battles Bond at UK Championship

Naughty Snooker will be in session once more at the UK Championship from York’s Barbican Centre, as Judd Trump, 7/1 third favourite with Coral to win the tournament they are sponsoring, plays Indian potter Aditya Mehta in round two.

World number 11 and 2011 winner of this event Trump has beaten this opponent in all of their previous meetings, dropping just three frames. That is why the Bristol boy is a massive odds-on favourite at 1/10 to win this latest encounter. Mehta is a 13/2 match outsider, and must be wary about being whitewashed.

Trump recorded a 6-0 victory over the Indian in their last meeting, at the 2012 International Championship. The UK event in York is also best of 11 at this stage nowadays, and another whitewash here is a 13/2 chance.

Barry Hawkins, the world number five, battles snooker’s very own secret agent in Bond… Nigel Bond. Double 0 cueman has only upset this opponent once in three attempts, and that is why Bond is a 5/1 outsider to advance.

Hawkins, meanwhile, demolished qualifier Ashley Carty 6-1 in round one, and is in no mood to give Bond any quarter. This solidifies his status as odds-on 2/15 favourite to win.

Former Crucible king Graeme Dott battles fellow veteran Anthony Hamilton during the evening session of day five, and these two have shared four previous meetings. Scottish potter Dott, who is ranked one place outside the world’s top 16, is nonetheless, odds-on at 2/5 for their match.

Hamilton, still among snooker’s elite 50, will have to raise his game considerably to stop dogged Dott here, though, and is rather short at 15/8 to knock him out of the competition.

Two-time UK champion Mark Williams tackles a man by the name of Robertson in round two. Not the one you’re thinking of punters, as it it’s Jimmy rather than current trophy holder Neil.

This lesser-known Robertson hails from Bexhill-on-Sea, which is one of the setting in crime writer Agatha Christie’s seminal work ‘The ABC Murders’. Playing this opponent holds no mystery for Williams, though, who has a perfect two wins out of two in previous head-to-heads.

It will come as little surprise to learn, then, ‘the Welsh potting machine’ is a strong odds-on 2/5 favourite against Robertson, who seems short at 15/8.