The 16 Seeds: Judd Trump
Continuing our series of Cazoo World Championship previews.
By Phil Yates
Seed 5: Judd Trump
English under-15 champion aged ten, outrageously skilled child prodigy, it seemed certain Judd Trump would take the game by storm. He did, albeit somewhat later than expected.
Six years after turning pro, career meandering, his breakthrough came out of the blue with a stylish triumph at the 2011 China Open in Beijing. It was the advent of naughty snooker.
Abundant success has flowed since. Completion of the gold standard Triple Crown, plus the accumulation of numerous records, uppermost in merit his unprecedented six ranking titles during the 2020/21 season.
Trump is a member of the game’s super elite, who last year alone compiled three 147s, including a maximum in the Turkish Masters final, an event that yielded his 23rd ranking triumph.
It is a compliment rather to classify a season in which he has won the Masters as frustrating for Trump. That, though, is the reality.
While coming out on top at Alexandra Palace is among snooker’s most thrilling achievements, Trump has set his personal bar so high, winning the Masters alone does not constitute a satisfying campaign.
With ranking points on the line, Trump’s attempt to chase down Ronnie O’Sullivan for world number one status has stalled.
Even his solitary ranking final at the World Grand Prix in January generated angst. After fighting back from 7-2 adrift to force a decider against Mark Allen, he was denied 10-9.
Anyone responsible for producing the finest performance in the 46-year history of Crucible snooker has cause for immense pride.
That man is Trump having compiled a mesmerizing seven centuries on the way to brushing aside John Higgins 18-9 in their 2019 final, spectacularly claiming the sport’s most coveted prize.
Trump has graced two other Crucible finals, five semi-finals and a total of nine quarter-finals. The last time he departed before the last eight was 2017 while his overall match winning percentage is an impressive 70.7%.
Previous Crucible appearances: 13
Matches played: 41
Matches won: 29
Crucible centuries: 74
Based on stature, glorious ability, and vast experience it is impossible to dismiss Trump’s chances of regaining the title.
An instinctive entertainer with an unorthodox technique, prospects rest primarily on confidence levels, self-belief and trusting his cue-action in crunch moments.
Although low key of late, inspirational players of Trump’s ilk can suddenly discover something, enter the mythical zone, and clean up. If Judd does, watch out.
No right-minded observer could possibly write off Trump although given his subdued recent showings, a considerable improvement will be necessary to go all the way.
Bookmakers’ odds on Trump: 11/2