Saturday, 2 April 2011

China Open - Day six - Trump reaches first ranking final

I could have stayed in the comfort of my own home and watched the two semi-final matches of the China Open today.

Instead, I stupidly decided to embark on a 400-mile round trip to see Spurs draw 0-0 away to Premier League bottom-side Wigan.

It's not the first time I've been disappointing on my travels following my football team - and it definitely won't be the last.

But while I was away from the snooker action, Judd Trump successfully reached his first ranking event final.

That's a big milestone in the career for any player, and tomorrow he gets the chance to turn that into his first trophy when he meets Mark Selby in Beijing.

Trump has played exceptionally well all week but today he put the icing on the cake by beating Shaun Murphy 6-1.

Judd has for many years been the brightest young talent in snooker. His progress  here in China may now be the kick-start for a successful career, and the beginning of him realising his massive potential.

Because reaching his first final has taken a little bit longer than many anticipated, he had some choice worlds for the media after his win.

He said: "It has been five or six seasons and finally I've done it.

"Every year that I've not got to a final there has been more and more pressure put on me.

"A lot of people started to doubt me and saying bad things like I'm over-hyped but hopefully that will prove a lot of people wrong.

"It does hurt and you start to doubt yourself and if you're actually that good. But I've come back stronger and just tried to prove everyone wrong.

"It's hard to keep away from seeing the criticism and there's always going to be one or two that don't want you to do well, but on the other hand there are many people that do.

"I've had a lot of support and people telling me to just wait and now it's finally come.

"I've always known I could do it and my family have known and everyone close to me has known, it's just taken longer than I thought."

I've got to agree with most of what Judd says there, but personally, I've not heard anyone label him "over-hyped".

But by the same token, I believe the press has heaped an enormous amount of pressure on Judd at a young age, and they should be held accountable for him blooming later than expected. Unfortunately, journalists being what journalists, media hype is part and parcel of all sports.

I'm sure Judd is relieved as much as excited by his success. It's got a monkey off his back, and it's time for him to look forward.

Whatever happens in China tomorrow, Trump can definitely walk away from the tournament feeling a sense of accomplishment. But it would be stupid to write off his chances against Selby, although the task ahead of him is vast.

Selby has been playing great snooker this week, and scoring as well as ever. It's always tough to beat Ding in his own back yard, but did that 6-3 today.

This means he'll go into the match as favourite with his greater experience, but sometimes fearlessness can conquer all. This would work in Judd's favour of course, who has nothing to lose, while Selby may feel under pressure to take the extra ranking points to push him closer to Mark Williams as world number one.

1 comment:

  1. well done trump but davis is a bluffer ebdon was dire and murphy had a shocker.. still had 2 pot the balls so fair play judd on reaching first final, i think judd will win many ranking events but dont think he is ready for jester yet.. i think jester will win 10.6 at least