Judd Trump was left nonplussed by his first-round Masters defeat to Shaun Murphy as he fell 6-3, despite making a hat-trick of centuries.
The reigning World Champion arrived at Alexandra Palace as tournament favourite, but the trend of the underdogs prevailing in the first round continued, as the Juddernaut became the fifth player on the spin to fall to that fate in north London.
And, after looking unstoppable once getting in amongst the balls in the early stages of the game - notching up a trio of thrilling centuries to lead 3-2 - the Whitchurch native struggled to wrap his head around Murphy’s comeback.
“It’s quite a hard game to evaluate really,” he said.
“I was the better player most of the game, he was just making the important clearances. It was a strange game, I didn’t feel like I played that badly.
“There were a few bad cannons at times, but I can’t really work out how it was 6-3.
“It wasn’t that many missed balls, just a couple of bad safeties. He was just getting away with one or two more than me.
“He played some good snooker, didn’t miss that many, played some good safeties, but I still don’t feel like I got outplayed by him. Every time I made a mistake he punished me.
“I didn’t play that badly, it was just one of those games where everything at the end of the game was going wrong. You just have to go away and try and win the next tournament.”
After setting up an early 147 attempt in the sixth frame, Trump lost position and let Murphy back into the picture to level things at 3-3, before the Magician won the next three to seal victory.
And though Trump believes that he was on the wrong side of several key moments throughout the match, he was quick to pay credit to Murphy’s quality.
“It’s not a surprise to me. Shaun’s a class player,” Trump continued.
“He made some very crucial clearances. He held himself together when he needed to and made all those clearances to stay in the match at the start.
“Any tournament he’s in, if he’s playing well he’s always going to be a danger. He’s going to definitely be one of the favourites.
“I’m not overly disappointed, it was just that the odd shot here and there would have changed the game.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.