Trump Hits Top Spot In Style
Over the weekend I watched a lot of football, like usual. But in amongst the football I kept an eager eye out as I had done in the latter stages of the week as to the goings on in the inaugural International Championships Snooker Event in Chengdu, China.
The tournament was not only a great way to introduce the snooker world to the up and coming Chinese and Asian players but for the Chinese public to get another chance to see their Western cuing heroes. And when the final pitted Judd Trump against Neil Robertson I couldn’t help but envy every single spectator in the arena.
My only essence of annoyance is that even though snooker’s popularity has increased on an even grander scale than those involved could have ever imagined the only coverage was on British Eurosport 2. Now I have no qualms with Eurosport, I myself have found myself watched the World Cup of Table Football on a few occasions in the last 12 months and considering they will always be in Sky Sports’ shadow as the major sporting broadcaster on satellite and digital television but how can snooker ever maintain an audience or even expand when ranking events like this aren’t shown or advertised on more popular channels and networks.
However, those who saw the tournament let alone the final would have seen a mixture of high scoring action from the best players in the world and tight cagey affairs between two of the worlds best. The final was the latter and it can be summed up with this one statistic, the first century break in the match came in frame 17 when Trump hit 119 to complete his overhaul from 8-6 down to go 9-8 in front leaving him one frame away from the £125k prize and being the first winner of the tournament.
In the process of winning the tournament Trump also overtook Mark Selby as world number 1, an accomplishment he gained by making it to the final. He did so by beating veteran Peter Ebdon 9-1 in the Semi Finals. Both players had similar paths to the final in the tournament. Both came across favourable draws, Trump facing world number 71 Indian player Aditya Mehta in the 2nd round. An opponent trump made light work of, running out as winner after a 6-0 demolition. He then beat Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in the quarters 6-5 to set up his Semi with Ebdon. Robertson on the other hand brushed aside Welsh duo Ryan Day and Matt Stevens without barely breaking a sweat before meeting unranked shock of the tournament, 14 year old Lu Haotian of China in the quarters before a hard fought 9-5 win in the semis against the Magician Shaun Murphy.
The Australian Robertson is a former world number 1 in his own right and he will be in the pack chasing the newly crowned rankings leader Trump as they go into one of the biggest months worth of snooker in the calendar year. Following the players’ returns to the UK they will be polishing the cues ahead of the 4th PTC Event of the Year in Gloucester from 10th-14th before flying out again, this time to Sofia in Bulgaria for the next leg of the European Tour. A big couple of days stand out for the end of November as the Premier League Snooker finals take place over two days (24th-25th) in Grimsby, the winner will hope to take momentum through to the UK Championships in York which start on 1st December. I for one simply cannot wait as we get mid way through the 2012/13 Snooker season and am stoked to see the UK Championships on the BBC once again.