Judd Trump came from 7-4 down to beat Neil Robertson 9-8 in the final of the Matchroom.Live English Open, winning his first title in seven months.
Trump lived up to his world number one status by making a century in the deciding frame to take the £70,000 top prize and Steve Davis Trophy. He has now won ten ranking event finals in a row in a run stretching back two years, just one short of Stephen Hendry’s record of 11.
Bristol’s 31-year-old Trump moves on to 18 ranking titles, bringing him level with Robertson and Mark Selby in sixth place on the all-time list. He also becomes the first player to win three Home Nations events.
Most Ranking Titles
Ronnie O’Sullivan 37
Stephen Hendry 36
John Higgins 30
Steve Davis 28
Mark Williams 22
Judd Trump 18
Mark Selby 18
Neil Robertson 18
It’s Trump’s first title since the Gibraltar Open last March which gave him a record sixth ranking victory of the 2019/20 season. Brimming with confidence, the left-hander will be excited by the challenge of adding to his haul in the remainder of the season and stretching his vast lead at the top of the world rankings.
World number three Robertson missed out on the chance to win a 19th ranking title and first since the World Grand Prix in February. He banks £30,000 as runner-up plus the £5,000 high break prize.
Tonight’s conclusion was reminiscent of last year’s Champion of Champions final, with both players at the top of their game. On that occasion Robertson came out on top 10-9 with a match-winning century; this time the roles were reversed.
Australia’s 38-year-old Robertson took the opening frame of the evening session with a break of 56 to lead 5-4. Trump looked set to level until he missed the black on 52 in frame ten, letting his opponent in for an excellent 75 clearance.
Trump had first chance again in frame 11 but made just 8 before missing a red to a top corner, and again Robertson punished him with a 114. That put the Melbourne cueman 7-4 ahead having taken six of the previous seven frames.
A run of 76 saw Trump pull one back, and he continued his fight back after the interval as a cracking long red set up a break of 46 to make it 7-6. In frame 14, Robertson made 65 before misjudging a red to a centre pocket, and Trump eventually took it with a green-to-black clearance to level the tie.
Robertson’s missed red on 6 in frame 15 proved costly as Trump made 55 which helped him edge in front. Back came Robertson with a 125, his third century of the match and 12th of the tournament, for 8-8. But he played just one shot in the decider as his break-off left Trump a chance at a long red, which he slotted in to set a up a brilliant 114.
“It was an unbelievable final,” said 2019 World Champion Trump. “I never felt in control because Neil played tremendous snooker and scored heavily. I nicked an important frame at 7-4. I really had to dig in and I’m proud of the way I held myself together and made the break in the last frame. I was just looking for a chance, and when Neil left me the red I had to go for it.
“Neil and I have a rivalry where we bring the best out of each other and put on great matches for the fans – hopefully we can have many more. To be level with Neil and Mark on 18 ranking titles is fantastic because they are two brilliant players. I really want to win every final I get to.
“It will be tough to win another six this season but if I can keep playing well I can get somewhere near that.”
Robertson said: “I feel really good – strangely enough it’s probably the best I’ve felt after losing a final. He really had to earn it and I didn’t throw it away at any point – I was unlucky at 7-6 when I got a kick on the red, but Judd did really well to win that frame and then I didn’t really get a chance until 8-7 down.
“We were both bringing the best out of each other but he made a brilliant break in the decider. It’s great to be competing – the titles come as a consequence of working hard and applying yourself the best you can.
“I had 12 centuries in the tournament which was amazing – you’d be happy with that tally in the World Championship when you’re playing best of 19s. My game’s in fantastic shape and I’m very positive moving forward.”