LIFE as world champion is a weight off the shoulders for Judd Trump after an impressive start to his 19.com English Open campaign.
Trump ruled the Crucible last May and has already revelled under the spotlight, winning the International Championship at the start of this season.
And his monumental momentum shows little signs of slowing down, easing past Peter Ebdon 4-0 in the first round in Crawley despite not playing his best snooker.
But Trump knows he has bigger fish to fry in a season that could see the 30-year-old make snooker history.
“It’s easier for me to relax and play now,” he said. “I’ve qualified for all of the big events already, so I can focus on gathering some confidence for the UK Championships coming up.
“I’d love to win that and hold all three at the same time. This tournament is mainly about increasing my confidence ahead of the upcoming tournaments, and I always fancy my chances of winning any competition.
“But it’s going to be impossible to win all four. That’s just not realistic for anyone.”
Trump’s triumph in Sheffield has helped take the pressure off as he goes in search of the UK Championship this winter, which would see him hold each of the Triple Crown trophies simultaneously.
A £1million prize fund is also available for anyone who wins all four Home Nations titles, with Trump’s unlikely bid starting in style over Ebdon.
Despite the scoreline, Ebdon – who himself was victorious at the Crucible in 2002 – played a significant role in the match, as both men were unable to post a break over 50.
The World Champion is through to the second round! But @judd147t isn't exactly happy with his performance. 👀
🎱 Watch the #EnglishOpen LIVE:
📺 - Eurosport 1
📱💻🖥 - Eurosport Player: https://t.co/0Fa7uXMVB9 pic.twitter.com/76cxS8hovX
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) October 14, 2019
But with a long way to go in the tournament, Trump explained progression was the main thing on his mind with a potential seven matches to come in the week.
“It was a bit of a struggle,” he said. “It’s always tough when there are a lot of rounds to get through and the most important thing is I got the job done.
“We’re still fairly early on in the season so it’s important to get match practice with a lot of big events coming up in the next few months.
“The first time you go somewhere you never know what the facilities are going to be like, but if you’re entering the tournament a second time you can’t pick fault with it.
“They made a few changes so it’s a bit better than last year, but the conditions are the same for everyone so there are no excuses.”
Watch the English Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White