Welsh Open Final: Stuart Bingham vs Judd Trump

Stuart Bingham and Judd Trump will contest the final of the Welsh Open at the Motorpoint Arena on Sunday.

Trump lost 16-17 to Bingham in a fantastic World Championship semi-final in 2015. Photo credit: Monique Limbos

The pair of Englishmen came through their respective semi-final encounters on Saturday without too much of a fuss to set up the showdown between the world numbers two and four.

Trump endured a slight mid-match wobble against Scott Donaldson before finishing strongly for a 6-3 triumph over the inexperienced Scot.

Bingham, on the other hand, raced away to victory in a 6-0 drubbing of Robert Milkins, who has now played and lost in six ranking event semi-final encounters.

The 2015 world champion had a break above 50 in every frame, including starting and finishing the tie with century breaks, in limiting his opponent to a mere 117 points in total.

It put an end to a rotten last four streak for the 40 year-old himself, having been defeated in all four previous ranking semi-finals he had played in this season.

Trump, on the other hand, is into his third final of the campaign and is bidding for a second title following his European Masters glory last October in Romania.

The final in Cardiff between the English duo promises to be a close affair with no clear favourite but the guarantee of a new name being etched on the Welsh Open trophy come the conclusion.

Former world number one Trump is bidding for a seventh ranking tournament success of his career while a fourth triumph of such status for Bingham would represent his first since emerging victorious at the Crucible almost two years ago.

During that incredible run in Sheffield, Bingham accounted for Trump in an epic semi-final clash which went all the way to the deciding frame.

That would legislate as their most high-profile meeting to date, although the latter does boast a narrowly superior head-to-head record against the cueist known as “Ball-run”.

In their only prior final against one another, Bingham beat Trump to claim the last Premier League in 2012.

Even so, Trump will probably begin this tie as a small favourite and has arguably come through a tougher route to the final so far.

Both players have somewhat amazingly only had to face one top 16 ranked competitor over the course of 12 matches between them up until this point, which was Trump’s gritty 5-4 defeat of Barry Hawkins on the final black during Friday’s quarter-finals.

Whether that tussle will stand the 27 year-old in better stead come the final of course remains to be seen.

However, if both men can score as heavily as they did in the last four, with a brace of tons apiece amid several other frame winning contributions, it should at the very least be an entertaining battle.

Whatever the outcome, the duo will surely be strongly supported by a vocal Welsh crowd which has turned out in numbers once again in 2017.

Bingham lost the last final which went the distance in 2013 when he just missed out in a 9-8 loss to Stephen Maguire, and the fans will be hoping for a similarly dramatic bout to enjoy on this occasion as the inaugural Home Nations series reaches its climax.

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