Joy for Judd

Congratulations to Judd Trump who tonight has won the Championship League 2009 and secured a place in next season’s Premier League competition…

In defeating Mark Selby 3-2 in a predictably close final, Judd has completed a phenomenal week for him by taking his first professional trophy. It feels like a long time ago now, but making his Championship League debut on Monday, he actually started off poorly and went down 4-0 to Steve Davis. Since then though he did not look back, winning the remaining five matches of the group stage before crushing Graeme Dott in the semi-finals and then edging Ricky Walden 3-2 in the final.

Now fully in his stride, he again performed well in the winners group over the past two days, qualifying for the semi-finals where he would meet Stuart Bingham. Though he went 2-0 down, Judd responded brilliantly to win the match 3-2 and again in the final against Mark Selby he recovered from a losing position to take the title in fine style. His pot on the yellow early on in the match is one that I won’t forget in a hurry!

Following his success in reaching the Grand Prix semi-finals earlier on this season, as well as winning the Masters qualifying tournament, this is the latest step in what seems destined to be a glorious career. As has been suggested in the comments on this blog this week, it will be great for him to get wider exposure on SkySports because having seen him several times at the qualifiers this season, as well as in the Championship League this week, he is clearly a real talent.

Not only is he talented, but he also seems to be popular with the public. At the EIS in Sheffield during the qualifiers this year I don’t think a day went by without somebody raving to me about him and his side of the arena was absolutely packed, probably only Steve Davis drew in more spectators than him during the World Championship. Playing weekly in the Premier League can only boost his reputation further and this cannot be bad for snooker.

Finally what really impresses me is that having lost at the World Championship qualifiers in such heartbreaking fashion, he has responded in the best way possible when a lot of other players might have let their head drop and lost early on. Not Judd though, he was back in practising the next day and we will take some stopping in China now.