Judd Trump beat Kyren Wilson by 4-3 in the final of the 2020 Gibraltar Open yesterday evening. This is Judd’s sixth ranking title this season, setting a new record.
Congratulations Judd Trump
Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan have all won five ranking events in a season, but Trump becomes the first to land six in a single campaign, having already lifted the trophy at the International Championship, World Open, Northern Ireland Open, German Masters and Players Championship.
Trump came into this weekend needing to win the title in Gibraltar to pip Neil Robertson to the £150,000 bonus available for the player earning the most money across the four events of the BetVictor European Series – and he did just that.
On a momentous night for snooker’s dominant player, Trump also collected the £50,000 first prize and the £5,000 high break bonus. When the £20,000 he is guaranteed at next week’s Tour Championship is added on, his prize money for the season will go past the £1 million mark. If he goes on to win next week’s event and the World Championship, he could take that total past £1.7 million.
The World Champion and runaway world number one now has 17 ranking titles to his name, bringing him level with Selby in seventh place on the all-time list. He has won his last nine ranking finals in a golden spell covering the past 16 months, and it seems likely that in the coming seasons the massively talented 30-year-old will go on to challenge the record of 36 ranking crowns held jointly by Hendry and O’Sullivan.
By making nine centuries over the weekend, the Bristolian accelerated his march towards yet another record as he has now compiled 97 tons this season, within range of Robertson’s record of 103 in a single campaign, set in 2013/14.
Wilson missed the chance to win a fourth ranking title and first since last season’s German Masters. Victory would also given him a place in the Tour Championship, but the £20,000 runner-up prize wasn’t enough to vault him into the top eight of the one-year rankings, so instead John Higgins will be heading to Llandudno to face Trump in the opening round on Wednesday.
In the first ranking final to be played behind closed doors, Trump took the opening frame with a break of 125. World number eight Wilson responded with 115, then Trump fired a 144 total clearance, the highest break of the week. A superb long pot on the final yellow helped Wilson take frame four and leave the score at 2-2.
Kettering’s Wilson made a 43 clearance in the fifth to lead for the first time, only for Trump to hit back with 123, his third century of the match. In the decider, Trump led 52-0 when he missed the black off its spot. After a safety exchange, Wilson attempted a tough thin cut on a red to a baulk corner which would have set up a scoring chance, but failed to convert and his opponent added 63 to seal his record breaking victory.
“I missed the chance to go 3-1 up, then Kyren came back and led 3-2 so I had to recompose myself and go again,” said Trump after winning the Gibraltar event for the first time. “I made a good break to go 3-3 and that settled me down. I’m pleased with the way I handled myself under pressure.
“To win six ranking titles in a season, something which no one else has ever done, is an amazing achievement for me. It’s nice to beat these records when I have the chance, and to keep my run going of wins in ranking finals.
“I knew what I had to do when I came here, to win the £150,000 bonus, and I decided to come here and give it my all. I wasn’t thinking about that tonight until it got to 3-3. It was a lot of money at stake and that added a bit of pressure. But Kyren was also playing for his place at the Tour Championship so there was a lot at stake for both of us.”
Like him or not, there is no doubt that Judd is currently the best player in the world. He’s also matured a lot. Rarely now does he go for ridiculous reckless shots seemingly in total disrespect for his opponent abilities. Wether this was just expressing frustration or actually underestimating his opponent, we will probably never know. There was nothing like that yesterday evening, and to be fair to Judd there hasn’t been any of it for quite some time now. It was a good match, with both players giving it their best under pressure. And when it was all over they both gamely waved at the non-existent crowd durind a frankly awkward trophy ceremony.
I won’t lie though, I would have preferred to see Kyren lift this trophy. That would have got him in the Tour Championship, at the expense of John Higgins.
Here’s the draw and schedule for the 2020 Coral Tour Championship.
Judd Trump (1) v John Higgins (8): Wednesday March 18, 1pm and 7pm
Neil Robertson (4) v Ding Junhui (5): Tuesday March 17, 1pm and Wednesday March 18, 1pm
Mark Selby (3) v Yan Bingtao (6): Tuesday March 17, 7pm and Wednesday March 18, 7pm
Shaun Murphy (2) v Mark Allen (7): Tuesday March 17, 1pm and 7pm
Semi-final 2 (Selby / Yan v Murphy / Allen): Thursday March 19 at 1pm and 7pm
Semi-final 1 (Trump / Higgins v Robertson / Ding): Friday March 20 at 1pm and 7pm
Final: Saturday March 21 at 7pm and Sunday March 22 at 1pm and 7pm
The tournament at Venue Cymru in Llandudno is going ahead as planned and runs from Tuesday to Sunday.
It’s the final event in the Coral Series, with only the top eight players in the one-year rankings in the field. Tickets are available here and the event will be televised by ITV4.
In the current situation it’s quite incredible that WST intends to go ahead with this event, and do that with an audience too. They wouldn’t continue to advertise tickets if they indended to play it behind closed doors,would they? This is IMO totally irresponsible. Mind you, Ireland has now decided to close all pubs … if that doesn’t tell you that the situation is beyond serious, nothing will!
The situation with the epidemy is getting seriously worse by the day in the UK. It becomes increasingly unlikely – in my eyes at least – that they would go ahead with the World Championship qualifiers. This event, no matter the efforts put into keeping players, fitters and officials safe, would be involving a high number of persons all present in one closed place at the same time. It is also to be expected that a high number of players would withdraw, either because they are unable to travel to Sheffield, or because they don’t want to put themselves, and as a result those close to them, at risk. But I don’t trust Barry Hearn to put poeple’s health, well-being and even lives above big money.