Judd Trump added another trophy to his glittering collection after beating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-5 to claim the World Open on Sunday.
Trump didn’t quite produce the kind of scintillating form that took him to World Championship glory in May for the first time in his career.
But the world number one had more than enough in reserve to deny Un-Nooh in the title decider.
The talented Thai started poorly and although he made a late rally to retrieve a large deficit, there was never a serious challenge mounted.
After the opening couple of frames were shared, Trump rattled off breaks of 96, 78, 90, and 85 to move 5-1 in front.
That very quickly became 6-1 after Un-Nooh lost the seventh frame in controversial circumstances when he forfeited the frame courtesy of the three-miss rule.
There was some doubt about the referee’s decisions in both deeming one of Un-Nooh’s attempts as a foul and the legitimacy of it being a full ball snooker or not at all.
Regardless, Trump subsequently made a break of 64 to extend his lead to six frames and the tie looked to be as good as over.
To Un-Nooh’s credit, the Snooker Shoot Out champion battled gallantly and took the last frame of the first session on a re-spotted black.
By winning three out of the first four frames upon the evening’s resumption, Un-Nooh reduced his arrears to 5-8 down and there was a glimmer of hope again.
Last year’s World Open final produced a remarkable turnaround when Mark Williams fought back from 9-5 behind to deny David Gilbert a maiden ranking crown in a decider.
But there was to be no repeat occurrence in Yushan as Trump composed himself after the last interval.
A trademark 136 century break stylishly stopped the rot and Trump completed his 13th ranking event success with a run of 61 in what proved to be the final frame.
No comeback, it’s a 10-5 win for Judd Trump to become the Zhiyuan World Open champion. His fourth ranking title of 2019, as well as the Masters. Very impressive.
— Matt (@ProSnookerBlog) November 3, 2019
The £150,000 champion’s cheque sees Trump extend his lead at the top of the world rankings list, a position he returned to earlier in the campaign en route to claiming the International Championship in Daqing.
China has certainly been a happy stomping ground for the 30 year-old this term and, of course, it’s in this country where it all began when he announced himself on the big stage by capturing the 2011 China Open in Beijing.
Since then, Trump has had numerous ups and downs but the “Juddernaut” has never before soared to these kinds of heights.
First time world champions often struggle the season after their glory at the Crucible Theatre but the opposite appears to be the case in his case.
There had been a lot of pressure on Trump’s shoulders to win in Sheffield and all that seems to have been evaporated as he finally demonstrates the kind of consistency that his talent merits.
Trump escaped from a hat-trick of deciding frame thrillers this week in the World Open, underlining an increasing prowess for getting the job done when his back is against the wall.
Jet lag might prove to be an issue but the Englishman will head to the upcoming Champion of Champions as the man to beat.
For Un-Nooh, it was a disappointing climax to an otherwise terrific fortnight.
The 2008 world amateur champion triumphed in last week’s Haining Open, an invitational competition, and picked up a runners-up cheque worth £75,000 that stands as the biggest ever won by a Thai player on the Main Tour.
Un-Nooh’s pedigree is obvious and he is edging closer to a possible place in the top 16, when he’ll really be able to consider himself a member of the elite.
Trump, though, is among the highest echelons and this World Open victory only serves to remind us all of that fact.