In victory, the Englishman becomes the first player to win three Home Nations events.
Judd Trump produced a clinical century break in the deciding frame of a memorable contest to overcome Neil Robertson 9-8 for English Open glory on Sunday.
The world number one trailed 7-4 but fought back to deny the Australian at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Almost twelve months ago, Trump and Robertson contested one of the greatest finals of recent times when they clashed in a high-quality Champion of Champions title decider.
On that occasion, Robertson fired in the ton to dramatically claim the spoils in the last frame, but the roles were reversed this time.
The Australian didn’t have an opportunity in the deciding frame, with Trump sinking a long red off his opponent’s break-off shot and proceeding to compile a brilliant run of 114.
It was Trump’s first century of the showdown – Robertson had contributed three of his own to bring his overall tally for the tournament to a dozen – and with it the 31 year-old etched his name onto the Steve Davis Trophy.
Yet, it could have been very different had Robertson not missed a golden opportunity to move 8-6 in front with a possible three to play.
The world number three was on a break of 65 and seemingly set to move to within one frame of the title when he pushed a red to the middle pocket wide.
Trump ultimately snatched it on the black to square the scores and moved in front with a break of 55.
Robertson forced the final frame shoot out with a trademark sizable contribution, but a terrific 125 only won him one additional frame before Trump sealed the win at the death.
The 2019 world champion’s prowess for the defining moments has been so strong of late that it was always difficult to rule him out.
Indeed, by triumphing in this English Open Trump has now won the last ten ranking events finals he has participated in – just one behind the record that has long been held by Stephen Hendry.
That sequence dates back to his maiden Home Nations series crown when he lifted the Northern Ireland Open trophy in 2018 – a remarkable two-year stretch of sustained success.
Trump’s lead at the top of the official world rankings list has been extended, while his career total of ranking events is now at 18, level with Robertson and Mark Selby.
The Bristol showman is several years younger than those competitors, however, and it is starting to become clear that he could potentially end up threatening the all-time record sometime in the future.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) October 18, 2020
For Robertson, it was a disappointing climax but the 38 year-old didn’t really do a lot wrong.
The 2010 world champion has consistently been Trump’s fiercest rival in the last couple of years, and long may that continue because the standard of play that they produce against one another tends to always make for compelling viewing.
It was a pity that there could be no crowd in to watch the action unfold, but that kind of snooker can at least keep the masses at home fully entertained.
After the English Open, Trump will be looking to make it back-to-back victories when he rejoins the action in the Championship League later this month – an event he has already won three times in the past.
Featured photo credit: WST