Snooker: Trump eager to take over from fading stars
Saturday 14 January 2012
Judd Trump, winner of last year's UK Championship, is confident of proving that that success was not a one off and more a sign that snooker is experiencing a changing of the guard.
The 22-year-old Bristolian, who beat Ulster's Mark Allen to win that title in York last month, is eager to follow up his first major ranking victory with another title at the Masters, the sport's most prestigious invitational event, which begins at its new home of Alexandra Palace tomorrow. The sport's elite 16 players will compete over the next eight days for a £150,000 first prize.
"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder, but I know I'm not going to be and I've proved that by winning two titles," said Trump. "Winning the UK Championship gave me lots of confidence, it was nice to win such a big tournament as my first major title. But I felt as though that victory was coming after getting to the Crucible final last season.
"And the month before I'd won the China Open, so I was buzzing to be honest. I felt I could beat anyone. But I'm an even better player now – and winning titles gives you that extra belief."
Trump came within a whisker of winning the World Championship last season with an inspired run in Sheffield and has not looked back since. Victories over some of the sport's most established players during the past 18 months has seen Trump firmly establish himself as a household name. The former English junior champion, who has pocketed nearly half a million pounds in prize money since his rise to No 8 in the world rankings, craves more success.
While Trump is on the way up, the more established players have been struggling for form. The four-times Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has threatened to finally quit the sport which has brought him plenty of both pleasure and pain. Stephen Hendry, the seven-times world champion, is not competing in this year's Masters for the first time in 24 years, while other well-known players such as Jimmy White, Steve Davis and Ken Doherty have now seen their best days. "There definitely is a changing of the guard, so hopefully I can be the player that dominates," added Trump. "It's going to be tough because there's a lot of great players still, and a lot of young ones coming through like me. But I feel as though I'm getting better and better, I feel as though it is my time."
Trump faces Stuart Bingham, this season's Australian Open winner, in the first round of this year's £500,000 tournament, with victory earning the attacking left-hander a mouth-watering meeting with either Ding Junhui, the defending champion, or tournament favourite O'Sullivan.
Masters draw (all matches best of 11 frames):
Tomorrow 1.30pm: Ding Junhui v Ronnie O'Sullivan; 7pm: Mark Williams v Stephen Maguire. Monday 12.30: Judd Trump v Stuart Bingham; 7pm: Shaun Murphy v Martin Gould. Tuesday 12.30: John Higgins v Matthew Stevens; 7pm: Neil Robertson v Mark Allen. Wednesday (12.30) Mark Selby v Stephen Lee, (7pm) Ali Carter v Graeme Dott.
Latest in Sport
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker forced into hospital ahead of Manchester United clash - reports
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...