Trump’s maiden Crucible win saw him pocket £500,000, the richest prize in the history of snooker.
Judd Trump produced one of the Crucible’s greatest ever performances to beat John Higgins 18-9 and win his first Betfred World Championship title in May. However, the Ace in the Pack believes he can push the bar further as he seeks to become snooker’s dominant figure.
29-year-old Trump stormed to the most prolific season of his career in 2018/19. He won silverware at the World Grand Prix and the Northern Ireland Open. However, most his most momentous victories were maiden titles at the World Championship and the Masters. Prior to that, the Bristolian’s only other Triple Crown glory came at the 2011 UK Championship.
Trump’s stunning world final triumph over Higgins saw him make seven centuries, which equalled the record for hundred breaks in a match by an individual player. Between the pair there were 11 centuries, which is the most ever made in a single professional game.
Despite the emphatic nature of his win, Trump still believes he can reach greater heights and is hoping that now he has lifted the burden of achieving his Crucible dream, he can play with a greater freedom.
“It has been a life goal for me to win the World Championship and finally I have done that. It is out of the way and is really just a relief now,” said 11-time ranking event winner Trump. “I’ve done everything I wanted. Having won the Triple Crown is good for me. My main aim now is to hold all three at the same time. That would be an amazing achievement. There is a weight lifted off my shoulders having won the World Championship.
“There is always more that you can do and there is always room for improvement. I can still improve, but over those two days in the final against John things did click. There were balls going in to start breaks which shouldn’t really have even been opportunities. John would play safeties to leave practically nothing on and I was potting silly balls to get in. My scoring has always been like that when I’ve been practising and in most tournaments, but it was amazing to do it on the biggest stage against John. I don’t think anyone has done that to him before.”
Trump’s win at the Masters saw him produce another clinical showing in the final. This time his adversary was 36-time ranking event winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, who he also beat in the Northern Ireland Open final. Trump stormed to a 10-4 win over the Rocket to secure the Paul Hunter Trophy. He believes that victory could have played a big part in his success in Sheffield.
“To beat Ronnie, with the amount of support and love he gets at the Masters and to do it in the final was huge. That was the stepping stone I needed to be able to perform how I did in the World Championship final,” said Crucible King Trump.
“I’d say I’m one of the only players that loves playing Ronnie. I just see it as a challenge. In Northern Ireland I probably had the most support I have ever had against him. The crowd were very good to me and I think that I picked my game up. Normally when we play it is very close, there is never very much in it.”
The dominant nature of the season saw Trump shed the demons of some near misses in preceding campaigns. He admits that criticism on social media provided a strong motivating factor for the success that followed.
“At the start of the season a lot of people were writing me off. They were putting players above me that haven’t achieved nearly as much as I had at the same age. That hurt a little bit. I think that was probably what fired me up for the rest of the season. I went away and practised twice as hard as I have before to prove a point. I feel like I am a level above the players around me and I really went out there and showed everyone what I already knew I could do on the practice table. To do it in the two biggest events was a marker to put down and say I am here to stay.”