Players Championship 2018 – Ronnie beats Judd Trump in the SF

Ronnie booked his place in his fifth ranking final of the season by beating Judd Trump by 6-5 in a very hard-fought semi final. He also set a new target for the tournament high break: 143. He will face Mark Williams or Shaun Murphy over a possible 19 frames on Sunday. If it were to be Mark Williams, it’s nearly 18 years that they last met in a ranking final: that was in the China Open in 2000, a match that Ronnie won by 9-3.

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Here is the report on Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan won a dramatic contest 6-5 against Judd Trump to reach the final of the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Llandudno.

An exciting match which swung one way and the other came down to the last frame, and Trump suffered a slice of misfortune as his scoring chance ended when he got a kick then went in-off. O’Sullivan punished him in clinical style and goes through to the final on Sunday where he will face Mark Williams or Shaun Murphy over 19 frames.

Enjoying one of the best seasons of his glittering career, 42-year-old O’Sullivan is aiming for his fifth ranking title of the campaign, having already captured the English Open, Shanghai Masters, UK Championship and Ladbrokes World Grand Prix. Victory on Sunday would see him equal the record of five ranking titles in a single season, held by Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui and Mark Selby. The £125,000 top prize would push his prize money for 2017/18 close to £800,000.

Defending champion Trump looked the stronger player in the early stages tonight, winning the first two frames with top breaks of 74 and 49. O’Sullivan hit back by winning the third then made a magnificent 143 total clearance – the highest break of the tournament – to level at 2-2.

A run of 71 from world number two O’Sullivan put him 3-2 up, then Trump, ranked third, made a 109 to win the sixth frame. The seventh came down to the last red and Trump doubled it to a centre pocket and added the points he needed to lead 4-3. O’Sullivan took the next with a top run of 53 then Trump regained the lead with a superb 123.

Bristol’s Trump had a chance early in frame ten but missed a red to a top corner, letting O’Sullivan in to force the decider. First genuine opportunity went to Trump but after splitting the reds off the black, he got a kick on 16. He still managed to pot the next red but the cue ball dropped into a centre pocket. O’Sullivan rattled in a long red, securing perfect position on the black, and went on to make a match-winning 67.

O’Sullivan, who has won 32 of his previous 46 ranking finals, said: “It was a good match. I felt a bit sorry for Judd because I know how hard he works. He had a good chance in the last frame. It’s tough on him but he’s a strong character and he’ll come back from it. You have to take the rough with the smooth in sport.

“I’ll go out there in the final and try to be as quick as I can, win or lose. I’ll try to keep it free flowing. I’m not the most confident player – I never fancy my chances until I hit my first ball. The build up is always the worst part for me.

“I’ve had fantastic support this week from a great crowd. It has been very noticeable that the crowd have really got behind me – I’m so pleased to have given them something to cheer about. This has been a quality event with quality players.

Trump said: “I got the balls open in the last frame then I had a kick. That left me awkward and I ended up going in-off. I think I would have gone on to win otherwise, the way the balls were. Anyone in the crowd could have cleared up from there. I felt I was the better player tonight but missed a couple of balls when I could have got it over and done with earlier.

“Ronnie struggled at the start, his safety wasn’t as good as usual and my long pots were going in. I didn’t play badly tonight, I felt relaxed and played some good stuff. It’s tough to take. I have had a lot of deciding frames this season and if I had taken my chances I could have won a lot more.

Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for those images

This was Ronnie’s preparation … climbing hills. Let’s hope he gets at the top on Sunday!

 

2 thoughts on “Players Championship 2018 – Ronnie beats Judd Trump in the SF

  1. We could give Judd some leeway cos of his age but he needs to look at his mistakes and fix them if he wants to be a Masters champion let alone World champion. When Ronnie loses he is man enough to own up where he went wrong (Usually when he plays better than someone, unlike Judd he finishes the match off)

    I don’t watch Judd much but it does seem whereas Ronnie is the greatest frontrunner by far, Judd is very good at playing comeback king but he is racking up a nasty record of frontrunning to still lose, which ensues in a lot of lost confidence in him and people berating him, with all his talent he keeps failing to nail the big wins or even making finals.

    Ronnie did very well to play catchup regardless of how silly Judd’s mistakes were, I prefer Ronnie to dominate than claw back like Selby does all the time (Albeit Ronnie plays with far more class and far shorter frames) but still Judd definitely can’t put it down to Ronnie getting lucky. I agree Mark Selby gets ridiculously lucky but having said that luck often favours winners in snooker too. I hardly ever see Ronnie get kicks, kicks can ruin whole matches so maybe the guys should learn from Ronnie’s play.

    Final thing re Trump, he can make all these fancy shots and is a great long potter but looking at some head to heads Ronnie decimates longpotters more often than not, the best people against him head to head such as Higgins are all rounders, sure getting a juicy long pot gets the crowd going but what use is it if they only pot a red and land on nothing? People criticise Ronnie’s long potting often but he does pull of some cracking ones and importantly he tends to make his ones count, he’s still the biggest winner currently playing and best win % of any of the biggest players which counts for something doesn’t it?

    Indeed though Judd’s not winning me over with his attitude, he’s clearly frustrated nearing 30 and still no majors to his name besides the UK, never made a Masters final though he’s had 2 good chances and he was in prime position to win the world title once and 2015 was his chance too. He should be happy Ronnie said he wants to help him with his game after he retires!

    I know Ronnie should have won far more than 5 world titles! He doesn’t like the duration of the event, says he’s fine with playing but it’s 17days total, most of that time is not on the table and with his demons it must get really lonely and insufferable. He’s had a bad time there since his defeat in 2014 finals, hope this year is the turning point! (He’s never failed to win a world title within 4yrs since 2001 except now, go Ronnie!)
    But was good to see after he lost last year to Ding he was in a jovial mood and denied having any intent to retire anytime soon, much better mood than when he lost to Stuart and Barry.

  2. Very difficult match to watch, but a satisfying result. But why does Ronnie say the WC is not for him when he apparently needs 2 frames just to warm up? 🙂

    But Trump is not going to endear himself if he keeps saying how he was the better player who just got unlucky. Of course if Ronnie had not missed in the first two frames, he would have won sooner and a lot of things might have happened which did not.

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