Time is now for talented Trump to end wait and claim Crucible crown

Champion of Champions enhanced double

Lee Gormley | April 13, 2016

Time is now for Trump at Crucible

In 2011, Judd Trump introduced himself to the snooker world by incredibly storming to a China Open victory at just 21 years of age, before rampantly rallying all the way to a Crucible final appearance with his mesmerising attacking approach.

The Bristol-born cueist tasted defeat in that World Snooker Championship final though, at the hands of an experienced four-time champion in John Higgins, but Trump had already caught the eye and his own success on that platform looked an eventual formality.

Although, since blazing his way to the 2011 final, Trump has endured years of narrow disappointment in the snooker calendar’s showcase event, including two semi-final exits, but he now enters this year’s campaign as 13/2 third-favourite with Coral to finally clinch his maiden success.

Trump targeting maiden world crown

The 26-year-old sealed a Champions League triumph earlier in the year, but comes into the latest South Yorkshire tournament on the back of his second China Open victory, which has given him even more confidence to go on and reign supreme in Sheffield.

“Hopefully I can take a lot of confidence for the World Championship now. I feel very confident,” declared the world number five.

“If I can play anything like I did I’ll have a very good chance of winning it. This is the most confident I’ve been and I think I’ve got a very good chance.”

After the testing qualifying rounds, the main event breaks off in Sheffield this Saturday, with Stuart Bingham entering proceedings as the defending champion, having overcome Trump on his way to a shocking victory 12 months ago.

Passing of the snooker baton?

Before falling to the eventual victor last time out, the Juddernaut stumbled at the 2014 quarter-final stage against rival Neil Robertson, with a semi-final loss coming to the mercurial Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2013.

The year following his heroics in 2011, the talented break builder endured an underwhelming second round exit to Ali Carter, but has clearly since become a more all-round contender, though he is likely to have to overcome the Rocket in order to finally succeed.

Following in the footsteps of Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and current master of the craft O’Sullivan, Trump is a fine player cut from the same cloth as these entertaining stars of the sport, and it’s the latter whom he must conquer to achieve his crowning glory.

For well over a decade the Rocket has captivated snooker with his genius on the baize, racking up five world titles in his hunt for Stephen Hendry’s seven Crucible victories, as well as holding records for most competitive centuries and maximums, including three of the quickest ever 147 breaks.

This sporting legend enters the Crucible as the 15/8 front runner for another successful campaign, but Trump will be confident of getting the better of his former idol, with a potential passing of the snooker baton set to take place this year if the latter can claim a World Championship coup.

Fine form a boost for latest attempts

Having previously reached the Crucible final after winning the China Open in 2011, Trump will hope this is a good 2016 omen, following his dominant 10-4 victory over Ricky Walden to recently succeed in the Far East again.

The in-form potter also dismantled Scot Stephen Maguire with a 6-0 whitewash in his semi-final showing, after wins over both Marco Fu and Mark King, and a continuation of such impressive displays could see Trump lift the sport’s greatest prize next month.

Bristol’s snooker starlet has notched up a promising 38 centuries so far this season too, including four during his successful China Open campaign, and it will take a strong performance from one of the other challengers to halt his run in Sheffield this year.

The 2010 Crucible king Robertson will be gunning for further success in Sheffield and is 11/2 to triumph again, while world number one Mark Selby and the Magician Shaun Murphy will also be dangers towards Trump’s latest attempts on Yorkshire soil.

But, coming into the biggest snooker stage of all after sublime form and enough Crucible experience under his belt, an already confident Trump will look to fulfil his long-standing potential and finally be crowned world champion.

Whet your appetite for the 2016 World Snooker Championship by reliving the tense final frame of John Higgins’ victory over Judd Trump at the Crucible back in 2011.


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