Friday 24 May 2019

Masterclass from Trump to leave Higgins on the ropes

Judd Trump in action. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Judd Trump in action. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Gerard Hughes

Judd Trump produced one of the finest sessions ever witnessed in a world snooker final with a blitz of scoring and solid safety play to move from 5-4 down to 12-5 ahead against John Higgins.

After the pair shared the opening eight frames of a high-quality afternoon session, the four-time champion Higgins fired the third century of the match to take a 5-4 lead.

Trump uncharacteristically needed two attempts to pull level in the next after being fortunate to escape punishment for missing a routine black.

But the 29-year-old duly responded with a stunning 135 break in the next - with the final black played behind his back - to move back in front at 6-5.

Both players missed chances in the following frame but Trump emerged unscathed from a lengthy safety battle to extend his lead to 7-5 at the mid-session interval.

Trump fired his fourth century of the match to move further in front, then beat his opponent in the safety department to take a 9-5 lead as he barely put a shot out of place in a stunning display.

Shell-shocked Higgins had little to offer as further breaks of 71 and 58 took Trump 11-5 in front.

And the 29-year-old completed a glittering session with a break of 70 in the last to move five frames from his first title at 12-5 overnight.

Higgins, beaten in the last two finals, trailed 14-7 at one point in last year's final before eventually succumbing to an 18-16 defeat against Mark Williams, however, even his legendary battling qualities are unlikely to be enough unless the 29-year-old Trump is struck by nerves as he nears the finish line.

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