Judd Trump proved once again to the snooker world why he is a major contender to become the next world champion after he triumphed in the Players Championship.
The “Ace In The Pack” beat Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in a evenly contested final 10-8 to land his second major ranking title of the season and the £125,000 top prize.
Victory moved Trump into second place in the world rankings, moving him ahead of Stuart Bingham, and did his prospects of winning the World Championship – starting next month – the power of good.
The 27-year-old captured his seventh ranking title of his career and has now won two in the same season for the first time, having landed the European Masters in October.
Trump also made amends for defeats in the final of the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open within the past month as well as the English Open earlier this season.
Judd Trump’s Major Ranking Titles
2017 Players Championship. 2016 European Masters, 2016 China Open, 2014 Australian Open, 2012 International Championship. 2011 UK Championship, 2011 China Open
However, Trump was made to do it the hard way after an impressive start from Fu, who was also bidding for his second major ranking title of the season after winning the Scottish Open in December.
Fu dominated the early proceedings winning five of the opening seven frames. But a comeback late in the first session for Trump was to prove instrumental in his victory.
From 5-2 down, Trump managed to win the next two frames in impressive style with breaks of 136 and 115 to get right back into the contest at just 5-4 down going into the evening session.
And Trump took that momentum when play resumed as breaks of 110, 63 and 76 helped him turn the match on its head and move into a 8-5 lead.
Fu finally stopped the rot winning the 14th frame before a break of 52 helped him pull back the deficit to just a single frame at 8-7.
But Trump won a crucial 16th frame with a break of 102 – his fourth century break of the match – to go 9-7 ahead, just one frame away from victory.
However Fu was to test Trump’s nerve even more when he kept his hopes alive by winning the next frame with a break of 58 to make it 9-8.
But Trump managed to clinch the deal and avoid a nerve-racking final frame decider with a break of 53 in the 18th frame.
The Bristol star will next be in action at the end of March when he begins his defence of the China Open title he won twelve months ago.
World Rankings – Top 16 Following Players Championship
- Mark Selby (ENG)
- Judd Trump (ENG)
- Stuart Bingham (ENG)
- Ding Junhui (CHN)
- Shaun Murphy (ENG)
- John Higgins (SCO)
- Barry Hawkins (ENG)
- Marco Fu (HK)
- Neil Robertson (AUS)
- Ali Carter (ENG)
- Mark Allen (NI)
- Liang Wenbo (CHN)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (ENG)
- Kyren Wilson (ENG)
- Anthony McGill (SCO)
- Ryan Day (WAL)