Judd Trump has criticised the playing conditions for his below-par performances in the Tour Championship this week.
The world champion suffered a surprising 9-6 loss to Stephen Maguire in the semi-finals of the ranking event on Wednesday night.
The next time snooker fans will see Trump in action will be when he defends his World Championship crown from the end of July, looking to become the first snooker player to win the World Championship for a second consecutive year at the Crucible – a year after winning the trophy for the first time. It is what is known in the snooker world as the ‘Crucible Curse’.
But Trump – who has won a record six major ranking events this season – will go into the tournament after an off-key Tour Championship in which he struggled to get his accustomed top game going.
Snooker legend Stephen Hendry said his display against Maguire was the ‘worst performance’ he had seen from Trump in a long time.
Asked by ITV4’s Rob Walker why he has struggled to find his top game this week, Trump said the ‘poor conditions’ were the main factor and hinted the summer heatwave made it hard for him to perform to the level he has done this season.
He said: “I think i struggled the whole tournament really with the conditions. The conditions were pretty poor and that’s why the standard was so bad.
“It’s too hot to play snooker today I think.
“I think in good conditions I play well, it’s just a shame the conditions were so bad.”