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Trump Tames Higgins

Judd Trump finally put an end to a dismal record against John Higgins by beating the Scotsman to claim the inaugural Victoria Bulgarian Open in Sofia.

The International Championship winner had lost to Higgins in two recent finals – the Shanghai Masters and Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup – as well as the 2011 World Championship final at the Crucible but firmly ended the stranglehold with a dominant 4-0 victory in today’s final.

In an era where it has become increasingly difficult for players to impose themselves consistently in tournaments, both Trump and Higgins have dominated the circuit in the last couple of months, sharing four titles equally between them.

Indeed, this was the second final showdown this week following Higgins’ triumph over the world no.1 in Gloucester on Wednesday.

This led some to question whether Higgins was proving to a bogey man for the 23 year-old, having lost to the ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ six times out of their seven meetings, but he enjoyed a resounding success to bolster the favourite tag for his upcoming defence of the UK Championship in York.

Put simply, Trump has played superbly in the last couple of months, completely justifying his rise to the top of the world rankings list.

Once again, I bring up a recent article I wrote on this site questioning whether or not we would see a player dominating in the same ilk as a Steve Davis or a Stephen Hendry.

At the time, I was doubtful. But, to be fair, the more often the ‘Juddernaut’ performs to this level there is an increasing possibility of this happening.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump easily defeated Dave Harold and Andrew Higginson to reach the semi-finals, where he saw off countryman Mark Davis 4-2.

Higgins enjoyed victories over Liang Wenbo, Rory McLeod and Neil Robertson but never really produced his best snooker and was completely outplayed in the final.

In all, the first professional event to be staged in Bulgaria was a resounding success.

Crowds were excellent throughout the weekend and culminated in a packed audience in to watch the action on Sunday.

They were treated to a memorable 147 break from Tom Ford on Friday and Trump himself admitted in his post-match interview that the crowd was in the top three he has experience – amusingly adding that he was fond of the women.

It continues the revolution occurring in continental Europe for the sport and the success in Bulgaria should guarantee a return to the country, as well as the possibility of opening new doors in neighbouring nations in the future.

Onwards the snooker roadshow goes then to York in two weeks time for Judd’s defence of the UK.

Before that, the qualifiers must be decided while the play-offs of the Premier League takes place next weekend in Grimsby.

No rest for the wicked.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the World Snooker Championship – won by Mark Selby.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Shaun Murphy
6. Kyren Wilson
7. John Higgins
8. Ding Junhui
9. Stephen Maguire
10. Yan Bingtao
11. Mark Williams
12. Mark Allen
13. Barry Hawkins
14. Jack Lisowski
15. Stuart Bingham
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy