International Championship title
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Judd Trump Claims International Championship Title

Judd Trump has won the International Championship title for a second time after a 10-3 victory over Shaun Murphy on Sunday in Daqing.

The world champion and new world number one was in complete control after establishing an early 5-0 cushion against his fellow Englishman.

Murphy rallied at the conclusion of the first session with breaks of 87 and 79 helping him take three out of the last four frames to trail by 6-3 at the interval.

However, Trump erased any hopes of a revival by taking the last four frames with runs of 80, 63, 102, and 62 for another resounding success.

Trump’s impressive triumph underlines the 29 year-old’s credentials as being the sport’s best player at present.

Since claiming a maiden Masters crown in January at the Alexandra Palace, Trump has etched his name onto three prestigious ranking trophies – including of course a first World Championship in May.

This International Championship title adds to his previous victory in the tournament back in 2012, when the Bristol potter became the world number one for the first time.

Trump’s career has now come full circle, with his 6-2 defeat of Joe Perry in the last 16 guaranteeing his return to the top spot in the pecking order.

Indeed, it’s difficult to argue with the fact that the twelve-time ranking event winner is snooker’s man to beat at the moment.

It’s somewhat unusual for a first-time Crucible champion to enjoy a strong following campaign, let alone begin it by collecting the winner’s cheque.

In fact, this is the first time since 2008 that a player, in that case Ronnie O’Sullivan, followed up a World Championship glory with an additional victory in his first event of the next campaign.

Trump enjoyed his celebrations after Sheffield this year but is clearly set on getting back down to business this term, which is an ominous sign for the rest of the chasing pack.

There’s a general feeling that this competitor, who has been labelled as the sport’s best talent of a generation ever since his early teens, is finally ready to assert a degree of dominance on the game.

Trump turns 30 next week so has at least a decade ahead in which he could create a suitable legacy to look back on.

In the immediate future, it’s difficult to see how anyone, other than maybe O’Sullivan, can live with him in this kind of form.

For Murphy, it was a disappointing climax to what was an excellent event overall as he just fell short of pocketing the £175,000 jackpot.

The “Magician” endured a dreadful 2018/19 season, bowing out in a number of unexpected first round exits as he plummeted down the rankings.

Murphy’s membership among the elite top 16 came under threat but his performances in reaching the final here have ensured his safe passage through to next month’s lucrative Shanghai Masters invitational.

What will be of huge concern for the 37 year-old, though, are his displays in ranking event finals, with Murphy suffering defeat the last six times in succession he has appeared at that stage.

For the International Championship itself, the evaluation is, as it has been for years, mixed.

With so many marquee names making the latter stages and with the format lending itself to longer matches, it ought to be considered as one of the top tournaments on the calendar.

Yet, crowd levels remained low throughout the tournament and there were even some Ding Junhui ties that didn’t sell out, which is never a good sign for an event held in China.

The atmosphere for the final session improved but for the majority of the week it was nothing other than flat, and it doesn’t help that the venue is far too big for its needs.

Still, Judd Trump will hardly mind about that as he continues a terrific 2019 that has him, in more ways than one, on top of the world.

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  1. Jay Brannon

    Of course O’Sullivan could live with him. At his best, the best. He has won more titles than anyone in recent seasons. He’s had pot success rates of 97% and 98 &% in long frame matches.

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