Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Trump pulls the trigger for fine season

Judd Trump became the first player to win a second PTC title - but a lot has changed since his first.

When the Bristol potter won the EPTC1 title some 12 months ago, it was a case of the young lad did good. Defeating Anthony Hamilton in the final as well wins against former world champions Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon, there was an element of surprise to his triumph.

No-one could deny his talent even then, but success was proving hard to come by. That was his first title but he was still a long way from being household name.

I challenged him in a blog post to kick on with his career because the hype was getting boring. Fair play to him. Since then, he's done exactly that capturing his first major ranking title at the China Open and competing at the Crucible in the biggest final of them all.

The PTCs have been such a huge hit since their invention, largely because of their unpredictability. That explains why it's taken 14 events to muster a multiple winner.

Trump can feel satisfied at being then first, but even greater comfort will come from looking back at the vast leap he's made with his game since his first.

He's now firmly installed as one of the game's biggest stars. In fact, his game is so stunning these days that he captured his first trophy of the season with an emphatic 4-0 win in the final against Ding Junhui, taking him a mere 45 minutes.

Just like victory in Germany a year ago proved the catalyst to a fine year, this win could act as a similar springboard for the coming season.

After first round defeats in both the PTC1 and Australian Open, he's not exactly hit the ground running since lighting up the sport in Sheffield.

But now he's put the practice back in, he looked a little bit more like his old self this week, especially after his hard fought win against Neil Robertson in the last 16.

Big things are expected of Trump this season now he's built a legion of fans. His title in Gloucester could be the beginning of another fine campaign.

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