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Turning back on social media a sign I've matured, says snooker's Trump

Snooker showman Judd Trump believes a self-imposed social media ban can help him land a long-awaited first world title.

The 28-year-old has dialled down the hype this season and, heading into the Betfred World Championship, he was five months into an exile from Twitter and Instagram.

His mid-match tweets fuelled the buzz that surrounded Trump when he shot to prominence by reaching the 2011 Crucible final.

In his early twenties he described himself on his Twitter profile as a "part-time snooker player and full-time international playboi", but two years ago during a match in Sheffield against Ding Junhui he became embroiled in an online row with Welsh cueman Dominic Dale.

Trump took offence at a comment about his technique and fired out a mid-session interval tweet, labelling the veteran Dale "clueless", before losing four frames in a row to Ding and later the match.

"I think I've just grown up and you try not to take notice of other people's opinions too much," Trump said.

"A lot of time was spent on it, a little too much, and now I'm able to live my life and not depend on what other people are saying to me.

"I'm the same as any other person my age who's grown up with it, I'd always be checking my phone after every couple of frames and it was just a bit of a hindrance.

"At some point I'll go back on, but at the moment I'm happy standing in the background and seeing what else is going on.

"It was my decision. My manager probably wants me to go back on because maybe it's good to interact with fans, and I possibly will between games, but after what's happened here in the past during games I don't think there'll be any tweets in matches this time.

"It's given me more time to practise and be out there in the moment, and work on myself. I've practised very hard for this event and I'm more than ready."

A jarring defeat to Rory McLeod in the first round last year may have focused Trump's mind for another world title bid. He starts against debutant Chris Wakelin on Wednesday.

"Sometimes in the past I feel like I've enjoyed being around this tournament a bit too much," Trump told Press Association Sport.

"This time it's important for me not to cherish the moment but to play the tournament.

"A lot of people build it up and for the spectators and fans of snooker it's the biggest event, and everyone associated with snooker loves being here. Sometimes it rubs off on you, and you start to enjoy it as well rather than remembering you're here to do a job."

- PA