Trump Tops Ronnie In Antwerp Classic

Congratulations to Judd Trump who has taken his second PTC title of the year following an incredible 4-3 final victory against Ronnie O’Sullivan over in Antwerp. Click below for my take on what was a classic final.

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Judd Trump 4-3 Ronnie O’Sullivan
5-67 (63), 90-6 (68), 69-0 (69), 79-0 (69), 7-118 (118), 0-132 (132), 85-16

For a match which would prove to be the perfect advert for snooker between two players so renowned for their attacking flair, the first frame proved to be surprisingly tactical, pink and black going safe early in the frame and a couple of reds being pushed towards cushions. The first two chances fell to Judd but an in-off in the right-centre as well as a missed green proved to be costly as O’Sullivan dished for 1-0.

The Essex Exocet had a chance to double his advantage in frame two but a missed black off the spot proved to be fatal as Judd drew level at 1-1, before the Ace in the Pack moved into the lead with a masterful break of 69in frame three, splitting the reds perfectly early on having finished deliberately low on the black.

By now the confidence was flowing through Judd’s veins, as typified by an outrageous pot on the blue following the initial red which he soon followed with a further break of 69 to lead 3-1.

With Trump flying, did Ronnie have up anything left up his sleeve? Did he ever, breaks of 118 and then a magnificent 132 forcing a deciding frame with the clock not yet up to one hour.

First chance in the decider fell to Ronnie who knocked in the latest in a long line of excellent long reds before he was forced to play safe on 16. Following a period of tactical play it was Judd who eventually created the next opportunity and having potted a gutsy long green had a chance to take the match in one-visit. Though he could not quite do that, a poor safety from Ronnie left a red over the right-centre and following a fluke on the match-ball red Judd was to eventually seal a terrific victory.

The win caps another excellent day for Judd who after his narrow escape yesterday against Jimmy White, initially found the going somewhat easier today as he dispatched Tom Ford with breaks of 119 and 100 before defeating John Higgins and Martin Gould to make it through to the final.

His second PTC title of the season from his third final, the result lifts Judd to fifth in the latest projected seedings list, a career high and with just 4510 points to come off between now and May, who is to say that he will not go higher?

Ronnie meanwhile was faced with a tricky opener against Stephen Lee which for some time looked as though it may go to a decider, before O’Sullivan dished to win frame six on the black for 4-2. Following that he saw off Neil Robertson and Graeme Dott 4-1 to set up the final with Judd.

Despite his defeat Ronnie played his part in what was a magnificent final and has given his ranking points tally a further boost, although he still sits just outside of the top 16 behind Stephen Lee and Mark Davis.

Overall though it was an terrific climax to a terrific, well-supported event which on this evidence surely has the potential to become a full-ranking event sooner rather than later. As was the case earlier this season at the event in Furth, the crowd were clearly loving every moment of the final and there is a real hunger for professional snooker over there.

Snooker eh? Bloody hell!