Judd Trump is just three frames away from his first Dafabet Masters title as he built a 7-1 lead over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final at Alexandra Palace.
Seven-time Masters champion O’Sullivan is in danger of one of his heaviest career defeats having been completely outplayed by his opponent so far. He’ll need to win nine of the last 11 frames tonight to avoid defeat.
Trump is playing in his first Masters final and the third Triple Crown final of his career. His only previous Triple Crown win came at the 2011 UK Championship. The £200,000 top prize would give the 29-year-old from Bristol his biggest pay day. Just two months ago he beat O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open to win his ninth ranking title, a result which has surely given him a boost of confidence for today’s contest.
O’Sullivan, age 43, won his 19th Triple Crown title at last month’s UK Championship and is aiming to win his fourth title of the season from the six he has contested. The Chigwell cueman previously won the Masters in 1995, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and has also lost in five finals.
Trump made a tremendous start with breaks of 89 and 87 to take the first two frames. O’Sullivan scored his first points of the match in the third but managed just a break of 8 as Trump took it to extend his lead. And Trump made a 56 in the fourth as he came from 33-0 down to make it 4-0 at the interval.
A run of 69 from O’Sullivan saw him get a foothold in the match by taking the fifth, and he led 37-0 in the next when he missed a red to a baulk corner. Trump punished him with a break of 66 for 5-1.
Runs of 46 and 40 gave Trump frame seven and he made a 66 in the next. O’Sullivan had a chance to snatch it but missed the penultimate red to a top corner on 22, handing his opponent the chance to make it 7-1.
The match resumes at 7pm.