Judd Trump has won the China Open for a second time after beating Ricky Walden 10-4 in Beijing on Sunday.
The final between two attack-minded competitors promised to be a close and entertaining affair, but the free-flowing snooker that had been predicted never quite materialised.
Walden began well with runs of 108 and 71 to establish a 3-1 mid-session interval lead during the opening bout of play.
However, just like in last week’s Players Championship final, the 33 year-old couldn’t build on that early momentum, indeed suffering a calamitous collapse instead.
Whereas Walden lost six frames on the trot in Manchester seven days ago, on this occasion it was eight, as Trump took advantage to romp to his fifth ranking event title.
Trump didn’t really play particularly well himself – with only four breaks above 50 – but he didn’t need to as he was able to feed off the many scraps that Walden offered him on a plate.
In practically every frame both men had their chances but, with every miss, Walden’s ice cool composure, which saw him construct a wonderful 131 in his semi-final decider against John Higgins on Saturday, melted that extra little bit.
Thoughts understandably must have been turning back to last Sunday’s showdown, which he eventually lost 10-6.
While Walden would have surely taken a run to consecutive ranking event finals a fortnight ago, when his form was anything but strong, the manner of these two defeats could be very damaging.
Of course, Trump won’t mind one iota as he lifted his first ranking event trophy since the Australian Open almost two years ago.
The 26 year-old has shown several glimpses of magic throughout this campaign without ever really stringing it together consistently enough to forge any foundation of dominance.
Perhaps it was fitting then that the ‘Ace in the Pack’ had an extra card up his sleeve in today’s encounter to get the job done even when he wasn’t producing anywhere near his A-game.
Trump announced himself to the big-time five years ago when he collected this title before a devastating run to the final of the World Championship where he unleashed his own unique brand of “naughty snooker”.
Through youthful exuberance coupled with a modicum of brashness, Trump then surged to the world no.1 spot before eventually realising that he couldn’t have it all his own way.
The Englishman has had periods of struggle as he comes to terms with the fact that talent alone wont be enough to maintain any degree of supremacy.
While Trump continues to play the game in an offensive manner, he does now understand the necessity to reel it in when necessary – highlighted often in today’s clash.
Trump, though, can be guilty of missing too many easy balls, which has seen him lose too many matches this season that he should have won.
If he’s to challenge at the Crucible later this month for a maiden world crown, he’ll have to try to eradicate that from his game.
Yet, his developing battling qualities should stand him in good stead and at his age there are many more trophies to be earned in the future.
For now, Trump can revel in his latest success and his confidence must be sky high ahead of the blue riband championship in Sheffield.