2019 belonged to Judd Trump!
Quite incredibly, Judd won six events in 2019, five of them ranking:
- the 2019 Masters
- the 2019 Grand Prix
- the 2019 World Championship
- the 2019 International Championship
- the 2019 World Open
- the 2019 Northern Ireland Open
and he was runner-up at the 2019 Champion of Champions for good measure.
That’s an extraordinary achievement. Over the last year and a bit, Judd played a much more measured game. He’s still very attacking, but his safety game has improved massively and, above all, he’s much more ready than he was in the past to use it. His attitude is much better and Judd credited his family and in particular his brother Jack for his improvement and success .
‘My dad is the biggest snooker fan in the world, he watches every single game so just to do it for him and my mum. ‘For the sacrifices they made for me to be able to play every week, travelling across the country, working two jobs, it put it into perspective for me.’
Jack Trump has also been singled out as a huge part of his brother’s success after he basically became employed by Judd last year. The brothers live and travel together with Jack providing help, advice and company to his sibling around the world as he prepares for tournaments. Judd explained the arrangement to the BBC after winning the Masters in January: ‘Jack will set the balls up and I will not have any input, I will let him get on with it. He is making me work on things I would not have done myself. ‘I wanted to pot balls all day, but he will put safety and long pots up too. I will do as I am told and he is getting the best out of me.’
After lifting the World Championship trophy less than four months after that Masters triumph, Judd believes it is obvious to see what an impact jack has had on his game. ‘It speaks for itself, with my brother’s help I’ve won the Masters and the World Championship since he moved up so it just goes to show the part he’s played in it,’ said Judd. ‘Obviously my parents have been a massive influence on me my whole career, taking me around everywhere and putting me in this position. To be able to win it for them and them see it is incredible.’
The World Championship provided two unexpected semi-finalists in David Gilbert and Gary Wilson. Both of them were awesome but eventually lost to players with more experience on the biggest stage of all.
The man Judd Trump beat in the final is John Higgins who, at nearly 44, was playing in this third consecutive World Final. Granted, he lost all three but it still is a very remarkable achievement. Judd produced an incredible standard of snooker in that final: he had seven centuries, a new record in World Final. John himself had four centuries.
Neil Robertson had an excellent year as well: he won two ranking events – the 2019 Welsh Open and the 2019 China Open – and one invitational event, the Champion of Champions. He also made it to two more ranking finals, at the 2019 players Championship and the 2019 Tour Championship
The man who beat Neil in those two finals is Ronnie.
In the last frame of the Players Championship, he made a century … his 1000th. By winning the Tour Championship he equalled Stephen Hendry’s tally of 36 ranking events and regained the n°1 spot in the rankings for the first time in nearly 10 years!
Ronnie also won the 2019 Shanghai Masters, now an invitational event, winning this event for the fourth time in total, and three in a row.
In addition, Ronnie was runner-up twice, at the 2019 Masters and the 2019 Northern Ireland Open, losing to Judd Trump both times.
The story and pictures of the 2019 Players Championship
The story and pictures of the 2019 Tour Championship.
The story and pictures of the 2019 Shanghai Masters
Objectively, it wasn’t a bad year for Ronnie, but there were some very painful defeats too. The most prominent one came at the 2019 World Championship, where he lost in the last 32 to James Cahill, an amateur (*). Another disappointing result came at the 2019 World Open, where Dominic Dale beat him in the first round. Dominic had never beaten Ronnie in their 27 years of “common” career.
(*) James Cahill was technically an amateur at the 2019 World Championship, but he had been a professional before, fot four seasons, and had been working with Chris Henry during the last year.
Finally, Ding Junhui deserves a mention for winning the 2019 UK Championship. For the last two seasons Ding had looked dispirited and demotivated. He credited his new coach, Django Fung, for rediscovering his love for snooker and helping him getting the most of his practice sessions.
Regarging non main tour events….
Jimmy White won the Seniors World Championship at the Crucible
and Mink (Nucharut Wongharuthai) became the first woman to make a 147