Judd Trump continued his excellent 2018/19 season by capturing the World Grand Prix title with a 10-6 victory over Ali Carter on Sunday.
The Englishman collected a third trophy this term with a measured display at the Cheltenham Racecourse.
Trump, who will return to the top four in the world rankings following the triumph, won the prestigious Masters in January and the Northern Ireland Open towards the end of last year.
The 29 year-old was generally in control of the title decider against his countryman, a player who had a superior head-to-head record ahead of the showdown for the £100,000 winner’s cheque.
A nervy opening to the affair provided underdog Carter with an opportunity to settle and he seemed to orchestrate a foothold when he established an early 2-1 advantage.
An excellent 113 from Trump settled the favourite’s nerves, though, and he won four out of the remaining five frames in the first session, highlighted by another century break of 132, to lead 6-3.
Carter responded gallantly as the evening’s play got under way in front of a big crowd, scoring runs of 99 and 83 to reduce the gap to 7-5.
The “Captain”, bidding for a fifth career ranking title, subsequently pinched what appeared to be a crucial 13th frame on the black to get back to within just one behind at the final mid-session interval.
Yet, the mini break favoured Trump as he regained his composure and duly wrapped up the glory with breaks of 71, 78, and a crafty 54 in the last.
The triumph represents Trump’s second in the World Grand Prix, having also tasted success in the inaugural edition when it was staged as an invitational four years ago.
It also means that the Bristol potter has been victorious in ten ranking events, moving him alongside legend Jimmy White on the all-time winners’ list.
Trump is beginning to demonstrate a level of consistency that has so often been missing during his career.
Undoubtedly one of the sport’s leading talents, the former world number one has the capability to dominate if he can maintain this high standard.
Probably more impressive than his swashbuckling break-building, which has always been an asset, is his acquired ability to get the job done patiently with more astute tactical awareness and a stronger temperament.
“I’m over the moon,” Trump said in the moments after a World Grand Prix victory that takes him to second on the one-year rankings list behind Mark Allen.
“To win my third big title in one season is amazing and I’m very happy with how I played in the final.
“Having my brother around has been a massive help, he’s making me practice more than I have done before consistently.
“Even when I am winning tournaments, I’m only having one day off and then getting back to work.
“You don’t want to let up when you’re winning, you just want to keep it going and win as much as possible.”
For Carter, it’ll be a disappointing climax to an otherwise positive week for the 39 year-old, who possibly didn’t expect to reach as far as he did at the outset of the World Grand Prix on Monday.
Some consolation for Carter will be his rise into the top 16 in the one-year standings, which should prove enough for him to qualify for the next event in the inaugural Coral Cup series – the Players Championship in March.
There’s not a lot of opportunity for a breather as both Trump and Carter will be expected to line up in Cardiff for the Welsh Open, which gets under way on Monday.
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