Judd Trump secured his first ever defence of a ranking title after he beat Stuart Bingham to win the European Masters.
World number four Trump beat the 2015 world champion 9-7 in an absorbing final in Lommel in Belgium on Sunday. He collected the trophy and a winners cheque for £75,000.
Victory earned him his eight ranking career title and took his career prize money past the £2.5million mark. And it was the first time Trump successfully defended a title after his win in the first ever European Masters last year via a nail-biting final against Ronnie O’Sullivan.
In what was a repeat of this year’s Welsh Open final, it was Bingham who made the better start as two centuries helped him to a 4-2 lead early on.
But Trump managed to win a vital two frames before the close of the first session to level at 4-4 going into the final session.
Bingham started the evening session in brilliant style with a 130 break to put him back in front but Trump responded with a century of his own (107) and then a 66 to give him the lead for the first time in the final at 6-5.
Trump then took the next to lead by two frames but once again Bingham responded in great fashion as back to back frames put the final on a knife-edge with the match at 7-7 – making it a best of three shootout.
But it was Trump who regained the lead with a break of 66 to put him on the verge and then a break of 107 sealed the deal to claim a 9-7 victory.
Speaking to World Snooker after the final Trump said: “It took me a few games to get used to being back out there, as I haven’t played much this season.
“I wasn’t quite match sharp the first few games and I grew into the tournament. I played very well in the semi-final (against Cao Yupeng) and that set me up for today (Sunday). Stuart played great and maybe even better than me. I managed to stick in there and get to the interval at 4-4.
“Winning this tournament last year gave me a good incentive to defend the title. Now I have got that off my back I can set myself new targets for the rest of the season.”
Judd Trump’s Route to European Masters Glory
R1 (L128) beat Chris Totten 4-0
R2 (L64) beat Adam Duffy 4-1
R3 (L32) beat Marton O’Donnell 4-3
R4 (L16) beat David Gilbert 4-2
Quarter-fInal beat Mark Allen 4-3
Semi-final beat Cao Yupeng 6-1
Final beat Stuart Bingham 9-7