Trailing Neil Robertson 8-6 having lost the previous three frames, the outlook did not look to be too promising for new world number 1 Judd Trump, but he responded in the best possible style by taking the next four to secure a 10-8 victory and become the 2012 International Champion in Chengdu today. Click below for more…
- Click here to view the final drawsheet
- Click here to view the final rankings after the International Championship
The most impressive player of the tournament coming into the final, all eyes were on world number one in waiting Judd Trump and he duly started the stronger, taking the opening two frames with a top break of 61.
Having lost just one previous televised final however, Australia’s Robertson demonstrated that he was up for the fight, a terrific pot on the yellow in the third frame paving the way for a break of 77, before he added a break of 68 to draw level at the mid-session interval.
The happier of the two at the break, Robertson picked up from where he left off as they resumed, breaks of 59 and 51 extending his streak to four frame, putting him 4-2 ahead.
Again however the momentum would shift, Judd taking the next two frames, the eighth on the black after a missed pot from Neil, before the Australian then took the last to lead 5-4 at the end of the first session.
As they got back underway, it was again Trump who would make a stronger start to the session, taking the first two to lead 6-5. The pattern of the morning session would continue however as Robertson then hit back, making a strong break of 88 in the 13th frame in particular, following a miscue from his opponent when in on 42.
Following a run of 73 from Robertson after the final interval to lead 8-6, I questioned what Judd had left, but as it would transpire, the reigning UK Champion had all of the answers. He took a scrappy 15th frame with a decisive break of 38, before moving one away from victory with runs of 96 and 119.
While Neil had not given up, Judd was not to be denied and duly completed victory in the 18th frame with three scoring visits, avoiding the need for a decider.
For Judd it caps off a perfect week, earning him the £125,000 top prize and 8,000 ranking points which will help him up to top position once the rankings are updated tomorrow. While his critics will point to a perceived lack of an all-round game, the fact remains that when Judd is on-song, there are few who can stop him.
It must also be pointed out that as he did en route to the 2011 China Open title, he has won a number of the scrappy frames this week and in defeating one of the strongest match players of the current era today, he has underlined that he is perhaps not the one-dimensional player that some would suggest.
Neil meanwhile will be disappointed not to have captured his first major title in China, but he did not look to be too upset at the end of the final, though perhaps that owed something to the fact that he received two cuddly pandas from the sponsors at the end, one as reward for his tournament high break of 142 yesterday. Given how few points he has still to defend this season relative to those around him, I would not be surprised to see him finish the season close to Judd at the very top of the rankings.
Overall the tournament has been a worthy addition to the calendar and owing largely I feel to the slightly longer format, has had the feel of a major tournament, which of course it is.
The circuit never stops however and tomorrow will see the start of the third and final APTC event, which will be broadcast live on Eurosport this week. From there comes the final UKPTC event, before eyes turn to the UK Championship in December…