Friday 24 May 2019

Record-breaking Trump demolishes Higgins to bag world crown

Judd Trump celebrates after winning the 2019 Betfred World Championship. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
Judd Trump celebrates after winning the 2019 Betfred World Championship. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire Sportsdesk

Judd Trump was crowned world snooker champion for the first time after wrapping up a record-breaking 18-9 victory over John Higgins.

Trump fired a record-equalling seven centuries and became the first player to earn £1m (€1.17m) in a single season as he claimed emphatic revenge for his previous final loss to Higgins in 2011.

A stunning final saw a total of 11 hundreds - a record for a Crucible match, including two near-maximums on the final day - and took the total number for the Championship to 100, shattering the previous best of 86.

Trump, who needed a deciding frame to squeeze past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-9 in round one, had hit back from behind to reel off eight frames in a row and put himself in control at 12-5 ahead of the final day.

But Higgins, no stranger to Crucible comebacks, raised hopes of a repeat by taking the first two frames, including a stunning maximum attempt in the opener.

Higgins potted all the reds including an outrageous double on the last before missing a relatively easy final black with the colours at his mercy.

Trump was unfazed by the mini-revival, and he won the next three frames, including two more centuries.

Typically, Higgins dug deep enough to avoid the embarrassment of losing the match with a session to spare, his successive knocks of 67 and 70 extending the run of half-centuries to 10 consecutive frames.

And there was still time for Trump to finish a remarkable session with a maximum bid of his own, as he potted 13 reds and blacks before running out of position and firing the penultimate red into the middle jaws.

Returning for the evening, Trump seized on a loose break-off from Higgins to compile a break of 94.

And he looked set to wrap things up in style in the next frame when, despite breaking down on 62, he was embraced by Higgins and could celebrate his belated ascent to the top.

Trump said afterwards: "I can't put it into words, I've worked so hard for this. It was an amazing final."

Irish Independent

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