Prior to today, Judd Trump’s last ranking event victory came at the 2012 International Championship, when he defeated Neil Robertson in the final and today was to see a repeat of that result as he defeated the home favourite 9-5 to win a fourth career ranking title.
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Having lost in the final of his home event to Marco Fu 12 months ago, Australia’s Neil Robertson was hoping to make it second time lucky in today’s final and started well, taking two of the first three frames to establish a 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately for Neil however, that would be the last time that he would lead, as from 3-3 midway through the first session, Judd edged a number of scrappy frames, as well as adding breaks of 55, 114 and 101 to surge five frames clear at 8-3, one away from the title.
Typically, Neil did not give up and took the next two with a ton of his own to close to 8-5, but it was Judd who potted the final blue in the next to seal victory and end an 18 month title drought.
Victory marks the perfect return to Bendigo for Judd, who had not competed in the event since its first staging back in 2011 and is a good response to some of the criticism that he has received at times during the past couple of years, as he has slipped down to sixth in the rankings.
He takes home the top prize of $75,000, which for ranking purposes amounts to £41,667 and sees him consolidate his position in the rankings and narrow the gap to 2012 Australian Goldfields Open Barry Hawkins above him.
For Neil, it is another disappointing final result at his home tournament and it was interesting to hear him talk of the learning curve that he has in trying to emulate Ding Junhui by winning successive ranking events and maintain his consistency across a whole season.
On balance however, it has been a strong start to the season for Robertson with victory at the Wuxi Clasic and now his final run this week and one consolation for him is that he now returns to the top of the world rankings, having been overtaken by Mark Selby following his World Championship victory in May.
Elsewhere this week, there were impressive semi-final runs from Mark Davis and Xiao Guodong, Davis crucially moving up a few places in the latest projected seedings list, which might just earn him a top 16 seeding for the Shanghai Masters depending on entries, while Xiao continues his own ascent to the elite top 16 group.
It was also good to see a return to form for Jamie Jones, who whitewashed Stephen Maguire in his opening match, while Alan McManus continued his strong run in 2014 with a deciding frame victory against Joe Perry, before losing out to eventual winner Trump in the second round.
Next up, a rare break in snooker as there will now be no more professional tournaments staged during the remainder of July, the next event being the Riga Open, which starts on 8th August 2014.