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
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...