Judd Trump came from behind to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7 and win the inaugural World Grand Prix in Llandudno on Sunday evening.
The 25 year-old gained revenge for earlier final defeats in the Champion of Champions and UK Championship already this season.
While on those occasions Trump was unable to turn around large deficits despite valiant efforts towards the end, it proved to be third time lucky this time in Wales.
Trailing 7-4 and with his back firmly against the wall, the Australian Open champion won six successive frames – including a magnificent 142 tournament-high break – to deny O’Sullivan the trophy.
In doing so, Trump collected the tidy sum of 100,000 pounds but, as the World Grand Prix was an invitation event, his earnings wont count towards the world rankings.
Nevertheless, victory over the ‘Rocket’ perhaps represents a watershed moment for the young Englishman.
With three major final battles in the last five months on British soil, the pair have struck up an intriguing rivalry that many will be hoping will develop even further at the season-ending World Championship next month.
O’Sullivan comfortably overcame Trump in the semi-finals en route to his Crucible victory in 2013 but there isn’t all that much between them as things stand.
Trump’s game, particularly his tactical awareness and ability to play the right shot when it counts, has improved considerably over the last year while O’Sullivan’s overall standard has dipped somewhat – despite his successes in Coventry and York before Christmas.
Moreover, O’Sullivan’s temperament appears to be delving back into the mood swings of old a slight touch, which will be interesting to see how that plays out over the 17-day marathon of the mind that is Sheffield in April and May.
Trump’s confidence, on the other hand, will be at an all-time high and he must now be firmly regarded as one of the big favourites for the World Championship alongside O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.
In the past, winning a big trophy along with a hefty pay packet would have resulted in him going on a spending spree or enjoying himself a little too much.
One suspects that those days are nearer an end as he starts to concentrate more firmly on his career, and the undoubted wealth of success he could obtain should he remain dedicated.