International Championship 2012: Trump Trounces Ebdon To Become Tenth Number One

The first semi-final of the 2012 International Championship might have been a best of 17 frames encounter, but Judd Trump required just ten today to defeat Peter Ebdon 9-1 and progress to his fifth world ranking event final.

As a further bonus, Judd also confirmed that he will become snooker’s new world number one when the rankings are revised following this tournament…

  • Click here to view the updated drawsheet
  • Click here to view the updated projected seedings

On paper a fascinating encounter and a real contrast of styles, the question on many people’s lips was as to whether the ultra-attacking approach of Judd Trump would be enough to see him through, or whether the more considered Ebdon would be able to ‘mess him about’ a bit as was referred to on commentary yesterday.

The answer proved to be emphatic, as Trump raced into a 3-0 lead and despite a century break from Ebdon in the fourth, never really looked back, seven breaks over 50 enough to overcome an out of sorts opponent.

From what I saw of the match, the fifth frame looked to be crucial, Ebdon starting strongly after the interval as he threatened to close to 2-3, only to have two bad misses, including a straight-forward blue off the spot when on a break of 42. As Judd took advantage to move three clear at 4-1, before quickly adding the next, the writing looked too be very much on the wall – and so it proved.

For Trump, his reward is a place in his fifth ranking event final, having won two of his previous four, his last title coming at the 2011 UK Championship. At that tournament Judd was exceptional and the way that he has played this week in Chengdu is very much reminiscent of his form in York, rather ominously for his potential final opponent.

The win also confirms that Judd will become snooker’s newest number one player when the rankings are updated after this tournament, becoming just the tenth player to hold that spot since the introduction of rankings in the 1970’s.

While the subject of who is the best player in the world is one that will be debated forever and a day, given his results over the course of the last two seasons, for me Judd is fully deserving of top spot in the rankings right now. He might not have won the World Championship in that period, but he did reach the final back in 2011, has won the UK Championship and China Open tournaments, reached the final of the Shanghai Masters and International Championship, not to mention winning a number of PTC events.

Now a player who is very much at his best on the big stage, certainly when compared to his early career when he took a while to adapt to playing in front of the television cameras, there is every reason to believe that Judd could remain at the head of the rankings for some time to come. Indeed with still fewer points to defend this season than those ranked immediately below him, it will be interesting to see whether he can build up a lead over the coming tournaments.

Meanwhile for Ebdon, his defeat ends his hopes of claiming a place at January’s Masters tournament and in the process confirms that Ali Carter will be among those in action at the Alexandra Palace.

As I commented on Twiter yesterday though, while Peter might not be the most popular player to watch, the fact that the 42-year-old has won the China Open, reached the final of the Australian Goldfields Open and now reached the semi-finals here in 2012 should command considerable respect. It certainly does from me.

Next up tomorrow will be Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy, in what will surely be a far closer second semi-final…