Judd Trump has won the 2014 Australian Goldfields Open after a 9-5 victory over Neil Robertson in Bendigo.
It marks the Englishman’s first ranking event title success since he captured the International Championship, where he also overcame Robertson in the final, almost two years ago.
It was an unexpected barren spell for Trump, who for 18 months prior to that 2012 victory had enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of sport, concluding with him claiming the number one spot in the world rankings.
However, since then the 24 year-old has struggled to live up to the expectation of being a proven winner and demanded star.
Perhaps guilty of being over-confident and too reliant on his natural talent, Trump’s lavish lifestyle has often come into question with regard his dedication to practice and attention to detail in preparation for events.
In reality, a concoction of all of these factors, not to mention the overall dominance of the likes of Robertson, Ding Junhui, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby in that time frame, have probably resulted in his brief demise.
This week Down Under, though, Trump has appeared far more content with himself and his body language has translated to a more relaxed figure.
The former UK champion’s battling qualities had returned, seen clearly in his tough 5-3 win over Alan McManus before reversing a 3-0 deficit to Ricky Walden in the quarter-finals.
Yet, the most important element of Trump’s success, both here and in the past, has been his ability to score heavily while in among in the balls.
With eight centuries throughout the tournament, including a brace in today’s showdown, Trump’s scoring prowess helped him to reel off plenty of frames in quick succession.
Indeed, from 2-1 down early on, Trump won seven out of the next eight frames, with runs of 114, 101, 71, 55 and 50, to go to within one frame of triumph at 8-3.
To Robertson’s credit, the Australian battled gallantly as he attempted to forge an unlikely comeback on home soil but, despite a ton of his own, his legion of supporters was left disappointed for the second year in succession.
In fact, the start to this campaign for the 32 year-old is a carbon copy of the one he made 12 months ago – winning the Wuxi Classic before coming up just short in Oz.
Robertson will undoubtedly be devastated to have come so agonisingly close again and his bid to raise the most important trophy that he has yet to add to his own CV continues.
For Trump, Sunday’s triumph brings his tally of world ranking events to four and he’ll be hoping that this is the springboard for more success in maybe enjoying a season like Ding’s in 2013/14.
Trump would probably wish that there were more competitions coming up but, rather unusually since Barry Hearn took the realms of the sport, there’s absolutely nothing scheduled for the upcoming month.
Let’s hope then that Trump doesn’t celebrate too much during his, and everybody else’s, time off.