2020 World Grand Prix – Ronnie is beaten by Judd Trump in the semi-finals

Ronnie was beaten by Judd Trump yesterday evening in the World Grand Prix semi-finals round. He lost by 6-1. Here are the scores:

WGP2020-SF-Ronnie v Judd Trump Scores

And this is the report by WST:

Imperious Trump Blitzes O’Sullivan

Judd Trump provided more evidence that he has superseded Ronnie O’Sullivan as snooker’s most powerful force with a resounding 6-1 victory to reach the final of the matchroom World Grand Prix.

Trump has now won five of his last six matches against O’Sullivan, and tonight’s clash was the most one-sided of those meetings, as the younger man completely outplayed his opponent. Full of confidence, Trump made two centuries and three more breaks over 50 as he cruised into the final.

WGP2020SFRonnievTrump-1Prolific: Trump has won 23 out of 25 matches over the past 39 days

O’Sullivan may have won the World Championship in August, but Trump’s consistency over the past 25 months has been extraordinary. The world number one, fearless against any opponent, has won 12 tournaments over that period and reached four further finals.

On Sunday he will face Mark Selby or Jack Lisowski over 19 frames for the £100,000 top prize. Victory would give 31-year-old Trump his 20th ranking title and third of the season.

Bristol’s Trump took the first three frames tonight with a top break of 59. In the fourth, he missed a red to a top corner on 65, letting his opponent in for a 71 clearance to make it 3-1 at the interval.

That clearance proved the only highlight of the contest for O’Sullivan. Trump reeled off the last three frames with runs of 100, 107 and 69.

It was a special performance tonight,” said Trump.After the first frame I felt in control. My safety was good and I forced him into errors. It’s important against Ronnie not to let him get in front, so after the first frame I was on top.

“I am somewhere near my best. But I strongly believe he will get back to his best soon. Everyone goes through spells where they lose confidence. You have to stamp on your opponent when he is down – Ronnie has done that to everyone in the past. I want to keep winning our matches to keep that doubt in his head.

WGP2020SFRonnievTrump-2There have been a lot of events this season, I have just been happy to be playing and enjoying snooker. That attitude has stood me in good stead. I have battled through matches when I have been behind and won a few deciding frames. Now there is one final hurdle of the year to get over.

Asked who he would prefer to play in the final, Trump replied: “Mark Selby looks back to his best and I would like to test myself against him. But I’d be really happy for Jack Lisowski if he beats Mark and that would be an excellent final.

O’Sullivan said: “The way Judd is playing at the moment, you have to bring your A game to have a chance. If you don’t, you can get beaten very heavily. He is cleaning up, the only player who can give him a game is Neil Robertson. Those two and Mark Selby will win the majority of the tournaments this season.

The score is very one-sided, but the first mini session, that ended with Judd leading 3-1, certainly was very close. It wasn’t a blitz either as the first two frames in particular were lengthy ones. In that first part of the match, Judd was only marginally the better player. Ronnie applied himself – as he has done all season so far – and played some really excellent safeties. In the first two frames played for snookers and got them but couldn’t win the frames. The way he lost the second one was particularly unfortunate. He also didn’t get any run of the balls … something he wouldn’t mention contrary to some other player(s) whenever they lose 😉.

The second mini-session was a lot faster and Judd dominated it.

This report by Eurosport is a better reflection on the way the match unfolded:


Judd Trump knocked in his 47th and 48th centuries of the season on his way to victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. The world number one has been dominant over the world champion in recent times and was impressive in claiming a 6-1 victory.

Judd Trump produced a supreme display, rolling in two centuries, to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 to reach the final of the World Grand Prix.

O’Sullivan against Trump is the big rivalry in the game: the world champion versus the world number one.

Trump has had the upper hand in recent times, winning four of their previous five meetings ahead of the clash at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. And that record was enhanced on Friday, as he edged into an early lead and never relinquished the advantage.

Fireworks were predicted, but it was a damp-squib of a start. Trump – who lost in the second round in this event last season – took the opening frame in 34 minutes and it was similarly cagey in the second.

O’Sullivan stroked in an excellent opening red, but a big kick left him out of position and Trump knocked in a 59 – leaving his opponent requiring two snookers with only one red left on the table.

The world champion got them both, but he missed a long red and it let in Trump to take the second frame after well over an hour of play.

O’Sullivan was subdued in the first couple of frames, but burst into life with an excellent break in the third. He knocked in a series of difficult pots, but broke down on the final red – leaving it in the jaws and Trump stepped in to clear to the pink and move three frames to the good.

Losing the third could have been a hammer blow to O’Sullivan – and it looked like being the case when Trump got in amongst the balls in the fourth. He knocked in a 65 and was a red and a colour away from the frame, but did not convert a red down the side rail.

O’Sullivan emerged from his chair and knocked in a supreme break of 71 to get on the scoreboard.

Trump came back after the interval unfazed by the loss of the previous frame as he stepped up to the table and knocked in a fantastic 100 – his 47th century of the season – to move 4-1 in front.

Century number 48 – a 107 – came in the following frame as Trump moved to within one frame of victory.

Trump got the better of a safety battle at the start of the seventh frame and it set him up to close out the victory in style.

And there are more quotes by both players in this Eurosport article:

…  (Ronnie’s quotes)

I’ve got no complaints. I didn’t give him a game and even if was on my game, I maybe still wouldn’t have given him a game,said O’Sullivan, who overcame Ali Carter, Barry Hawkins and Kyren Wilson without ever excelling in the event. “He was potting them off the lampshades.

“Scoring for fun, very good safety – there’s not a lot you can do about it when your opponent plays perfect snooker.

“Whenever you get chances against Judd, you have to take them these days. If you don’t take them, it’s going to be your last one.”

…  (about Judd’s potential opponents chances in the Final)

“He is beatable, but you have to play very well to beat him. He’s playing flawless snooker.

“The guys that are left in are capable of beating him, but whether they can do that remains to be seen.”


“It will be interesting to watch.

… (Judd’s quotes)

I can’t remember anybody having a start to a season like this,” he said. “I remember Stephen Hendry in his prime, reaching six or seven finals in a season.

I’ve not seen anybody have the consistency I’ve had this season. It just motivates me to play even more and it is nice people expect me to win even when I play Ronnie.

I’ve just to keep improving and keep reaching the latter stages and eventually I’ll have some credit.


It’s not the first time that Judd complains about not getting enough credit. I think that he gets a lot of credit by commentators and pundits, and here again by his beaten opponent. His consistency over the last two seasons is exceptional indeed.

There is a few things he should consider though:

  • When Hendry was in his prime there were only about 8-10 ranking tournaments per season. So reaching finals in six or seven of them was quite something.
  • Hendry and Ronnie were/are serial winners when it came/comes to major events. Judd hasn’t done that well in them so far.
  • Even when comparing with players closer to him in age,  he hasn’t yet built the same “legacy”. Mark Selby has won 19 ranking titles, like Judd, but that includes 3 Worlds and 2 UKs; Judd has won each just once. Mark has also won the Masters 3 times from 5 finals; Judd has won the Masters once, on the only occasion he reached the final.

He has the potential and the opportunities to build a fantastic legacy, he has more events to play in than ever before, and nobody in his “generation” seems to be capable of challenging him. When you look at who he has met in finals over the last years, it’s mainly Ronnie and Neil Robertson, then John Higgins, Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy. Yes, he’s beating them, particlarly the last two years. He’s about 14 years younger than Ronnie, Bingham, Higgins, and 7 years younger than Robertson and Murphy. He has time on his side, a lot of confidence and little opposition coming after him.

30 thoughts on “2020 World Grand Prix – Ronnie is beaten by Judd Trump in the semi-finals

  1. I wonder what Ronnie has in mind in terms of practicing prior to the World Championships. If he doesn’t have access to a practice facility now, how likely is it that he’ll have access to one in March?

    And, is there any reason to think that Ronnie has less access to practice facilities now than other players do? Are other players (like Judd, Selby, etc.) able to practice but (for some reason) Ronnie can’t?

    • Judd defnitely has access to excellent practice: he has his private room at the Grove. Neil Robertson also had access to practice at the Grove academy. Jack Lisowski probably also, but I’m not sure. Those three are managed by the same person, who owns the academy. I’m not sure about Mark Selby. Stuart Bingham and Kyren Wilson have their own snooker room. Shaun Murphy now lives in Ireland and has been unable to practice much. You can see the results or rather the lack of them. Most Scottish players have struggled for practice also, rules having been stricter in Scotland and Ireland than in England. They struggle too. Jason Francis, who is close friend to Ronnie, owns two clubs: one in Reading, one in Newbury. Stephen Hendry has his own room in one of them. And of course Ding has his own academy in Sheffield, and Vic snooker academy is open to their members too. The young Chinese players have done rather well in recent months as a result. So, definitely some players will be impacted more than others, depending where they live and what facilities are available to them.

  2. It was terrible. No question, Ronnie was fighting and competing and that was a welcome difference from some of the kamikaze shots previously. The way that he made two finals and is up there on the one year list with the not particularly stellar performance, is a testament itself. The loss to Selby was awful, but it is always comforting that nothing will undo the last 3 frames in the SWC semis and Selby I’m sure would give two Scottish Opens to have that instead.

    I don’t care about records. A few years back Higgins had more ranking titles than Ronnie and had continuous chance to catch up with Ronnie’s world titles, being consistently in the final. It did not change anything. But Higgins was right about what he said not so long ago about Ronnie, “the glow, the presence”. Well, this is what he has. It is not just the skills, that he strikes the ball marvelously.

    I know that Trump has the skills and I might even envy those who appreciate all this: for me watching Trump is exactly the same as someone on this blog said so precisely: like having a tooth pulled without anaestesia. That such a man, whom I simply detest with all my being and whose presence makes is impossible for me to enjoy snooker, that such a man can have Ronnie’s number and break his records is the most painful this year.

    Well, I only wrote all this, bc we are going away tomorrow and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas, if you celebrate, and for those who don’t very happy holidays and for everyone a very Happy New Year! All the best for everyone personally, a huge thank you to Monique for this blog and a much better 2021 than 2020 was in almost every respect in general and also in snooker terms except WRT the Worlds: that should have the same result.

    • To you and those dear to you as well Csilla. May 2021 bring you all health, happiness and inner peace. Enjoy the break, be it celebrations, holidays or just resting and relaxing.

    • I hope Trump will disappear as quickly from snooker as his hair is disapperaring from his head. feliz navidad to everybody.

  3. Trump is playing insanely well so there is not a lot you can do. But still too bad that Ronnie lost again to Judd, it is certainly not good for his confidence. Last week a loss against Selby and now again to Judd. Those seem the only players that can beat Ronnie consistently.
    Ok, Ronnie didn’t play fantastic this week (actually he hasn’t since the world championships) but still, they keep Ronnie at bay when they have to.
    I just hope that Ronnie can increase his level again (by actually practicing?), he has nothing left to prove but it’s painful to see him lose ‘every time’ to Judd. I hope that he can win some events again because at the moment Ronnie’s records are in danger… Centuries certainly are and ranking events also in my opinion.

    • I’m sure that he will practice if he has access to a table at professional standards, which he hasn’t for now. Other than that, yes, the records might be in danger. But, as I explained, records should be looked at in context. Judd is in his prime and in recent years he had about 20 ranking tournaments to play in, with nobody in his age group really challenging him. When Ronnies was the same age, there were about 7 ranking tournaments all season, and he had to constanly compete against John Higgins, and to a lesser extend against Mark Williams. Between them those three have won 89 ranking titles, including 13 World titles. Do you think that Judd will come close to those number despite getting more opportunities? I doubt it.

      • You are right, records should be looked at in context. But you know how it goes by most people, they don’t look at the context. Last season Judd won 6 ranking titles, a record. That’s the only thing that people talk about 99% will just say that Judd has the record for most ranking titles in one season. Only a few will say: Yes Judd won 6, but he also entered 20 (I don’t know how much exactly) tournaments, whereas Stephen Hendry won 5 out the 7 he entered.

        For years, we as Ronnie fans (and Ronnie himself) had to keep arguing why people didn’t consider him the best and greatest snooker player of all time, and that was ‘just’ because the records/achievements weren’t there (yet). Now that he is finally there, (or almost, Ronnie will win his 7th and 8th WC!) it is such a great feeling for Ronnie and us that we can finally back up our claim with all his achievements.
        The only not-so-nice feeling is that Judd is winning everything now and firing in thousands of centuries at every tournament that he might quickly overhaul Ronnie. 😦
        Just praying that Ronnie will keep his records at the Masters and UK and total triple crown wins.

  4. Anybody can say anything but 6-1 is just not acceptable. Period. Neither was 9-3. He is letting people down.

      • No. He should stop humiliating himself, 6 and 5 frame cushions are unheard of at this level. Absolute pain for anyone watching.

      • It’s certainly not unheard of. John Parrott was beaten 18-3 by Steve Davis in the World final in 1989, Davis himself lost by 10-1 to Tony Knowles in the WC, Stephen Lee was beaten 10-3 by Mark Selby in the Masters Final, Selby himself was beaten by 10-4 by Ronnie also in the Masters final (2014), the next year Murphy beat Neil Robertson by 10-2 in the Masters Final. More examples from the UK champs? Higgins10-4 Williams (2000), Ronnie 10-1 Doherty (2001), Maguire 10-1 Gray (2004), Ronnie 10-2 Maguire (2007)… and I could go on. Players are not robots. Ronnie has not been playing well all season. he’s still reached two finals because he tried really hard. Yesterday he tried as well and IF you watched the match, you should know that in the first for frames, it was actually quite close.

      • well you can defend it or you could also say he should get it together. if he reads stuff like this from people, he will think it is just fine

      • Wanting to compete is not the same thing as being able to compete successfully. He certainly DID try to compete yesterday. He was patient, didn’t take rash shots,played for snookers, got them in two separate frames. If you watched the match, and listened to Alan McManus he said it several times. Ronnie was trying his hardest out there, certainly before the MSI. He just wasn’t good enough.

      • yeah, “trying is hardest” means f*** all if he loses 1-6. he should not “try”, he should do, because this is harming his legacy

      • Either you didn’t watch the match, or you are stupid. Do you always succeed when you try? Honestly? If you answer yes, then you probably never actually try.

      • And do you think the Steve Davis legacy was harmed by the fact that he continued to play well past his best?.Decline comes along for ALL players. Ronnie is 45, and still World Champion. Hendry retired at 43, having won his last major aged 30.

      • so you seriously say this is a palatable performance from a reigning world champion? this and the Scottish final were so below-par it’s beyond belief. after the Selby match he even said he didn’t do a lot wrong. it’s like you did, we all saw it. if he thinks that he didn’t do much wrong against Selby, he is not “trying” or caring at all. unbelievable.

      • I m SERIOUSLY saying that he DID try in both finals. He is not playing well, he hasn’t been since the Crucible – and his opponents were playing well. The fact that he is the World Champion doesn’t guarantee him – or any World Champion – that they will carry their form thoughout the season, or even from one match to another. Mark Selby was World Champion in 2017/18 and it was one of fis worst seasons ever. Ronnie didn’t do much wrong against Selby last Sunday, he couldn’t do much at all . Selby played extremely well in that tournament. Yesterday the same Selby was beaten by Jack Lisowski. Are you suggesting that he didn’t try? Juan, there are TWO things that you need to understand here:. The first is that in any match of snooker, it’s not just about one player – whatever their status – there are two players at the table and if, on the day, the other guy plays better than you, you will be beaten, no matter who you are. The second is that Ronnie is 45. He is looks after himself, he is fit, BUT, he doesn’t recover from massive efforts, or lack of sleep, as quickly as he used to do, as most younger persons do. He was exhausted coming in the Selby match. he admitted that much at the start of this week. He opted for going home after his matches rather than to stay at the hotel. That probably means driving for about three hours every day and he can’t have a companion. It’s probably the right choice when it comes to his mental health, but it’s tiring. He has got the late matches for most of the tournament (that’s largely a broadcaster decision). Not to mention the tip issues. In short you should accept the is is HUMAN, not a robot that can be rolled at the table, switched on and is programmed to win.

      • no, against Selby he made the biggest unforced errors ever XD there are even compilations on youtube

      • I don’t need youtube Juan, I watched the match. I’m not challenging the fact that Ronnie didn’t play well. I’m challenging your claim that he didn’t compete, he certainly did, he wasn’t good enough but he tried and battled. I’m also challenging the fact that it is “inacceptable”. All snooker players go through bad spells and get beaten heavily at times and I showed you some past results proving that. The only inacceptable things for a snooker player is 1. to cheat 2. to lose deliberately. Ronnie certainly did neither.

      • at least don’t push the ridiculous narrative that he has nowhere to practice. that claim is so laughable it’s beyond comprehension. I don’t even know what to say. somehow, everybody else can practice, but the reigning world champion can’t. it’s painfully dumb

      • No not everybody else can practice. The Scottish players have struggled, the Irish are quarantined whenever they travel back home. And, yes, Ronnie has a table at his mother’s place, it’s not recent and not up to tournament’s standard. You may think it’s untrue and ridiculous but that’s how it is. The place where he used to practice is not available for now.

      • Provided he has some place to install it and provided the fitters can and are allowed deliver and install it in the present time … which I doubt. It’s not exactly like buying bread in a supermarket… If I’m not mistaken Essex is in Tier 4. Juan, stop being stupid, because you really are being stupid with this. I’m not sure why it bothers you so much either. Ronnie simply isn’t playing well enough at the moment – it happens to all of them, Selby went missing for the best part of three years from the 2017 WC on – and the fact that, despite this, he’s been reaching finals and semi finals definitely proves that he’s trying and competing to the best of his current abilities. If you can’t accept that don’t watch, or go support another more successful player.

      • what bothers me is that he comes up with the worst excuses ever and you are okay with it rather can calling him out not to relativize disappointing snooker

      • I didn’t hear any excuses. He admitted to be outplayed, and out of form, praised his opponents. He said that he can’t practice as much as he needs to, yes. So did Murphy, so did Higgins and Maguire in previous tournaments. So do a number of players from the Northern part of England on social media. He also admitted previously that he can’t motivate himself to practice as much as he did in his youth. Most players when getting towards their forthies feel the same. That’s an admission, not an excuse. The situation is what it is. Look, I have known Ronnie personally for nearly 15 years. I’m 100% certain that he isn’t happy with the way things are. But there is little he can do about it right? So, give it a break.

  5. Totally agree. If Hendry had been playing with 20 tournaments it wouldn’t have surprised me if he’d have won 10-15 of them per season in the mid-90’s!

    Trump is a fantastic player and I love watching him but he needs to fill his mantelpiece with Worlds, Masters, UKs, plus perhaps some more of the ITV tournaments to get the credit he seems to crave.

    As you say, the reason Selby is so formidable and possibly higher regarded generally is that he’s done it in all the big finals against all the big players in front of big audiences.

    Judd could and should dominate for years, he’s absolutely brilliant, but you have put it perfectly here as to what else he needs to start thinking about.

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