The world number one has produced incredibly consistent results this calendar year.
Judd Trump is through to the World Grand Prix final after a 6-1 hammering of Ronnie O’Sullivan on Friday in Milton Keynes.
In what is the last tournament of a turbulent year, the Englishman will face either Mark Selby or Jack Lisowski in Sunday’s showdown for glory.
The latter pair came through their respective quarter-final tests against Hossein Vafaei and Zhao Xintong with 5-3 victories on Friday afternoon.
But day five’s headlines at the Marshall Arena belonged to Trump, who tallied breaks of 107, 100, 69, 65, and 59 in comprehensively outshining the world champion in the last four.
The 31 year-old’s appearance in the World Grand Prix final represents a fitting conclusion to what has been an outstanding 2020 in general.
Funnily enough, the year began in disappointing fashion when his defence of the invitational Masters prematurely ended in a first-round defeat to Shaun Murphy at the Alexandra Palace.
Since then, Trump has been a mainstay at the business end of almost every tournament he’s participated in.
Ironically, it was in the first edition of the World Grand Prix all the way back in February when Trump last tasted defeat in the last 16 of a ranking event.
A hat-trick of quarter-final appearances have been improved upon a further four times with runs to the last four in all competitions.
However, it’s his regularity in finals of tournaments that stands out the most.
Including this week’s World Grand Prix, Trump will have featured in a whopping eight ranking event finals throughout 2020.
In five out of the previous seven title-deciding affairs he has emerged with the trophy raised aloft and a bolstered bank balance that has seen him consolidate his imposing position at the top of the rankings list.
During that period, he has played at an amazing level, but perhaps even more telling is his newly acquired ability to prevail in encounters where he doesn’t have everything automatically go his way.
Okay, Trump was on the wrong end of a dramatic 10-9 thriller against Neil Robertson in the recent UK Championship final, but aside from that his tenacity to triumph in the big moments cannot be denied.
Judd Trump outplayed Ronnie O’Sullivan tonight!
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) December 18, 2020
Close friend Lisowski will have a lot to say about this in Saturday’s second semi-final in the World Grand Prix, but a head-to-head battle with Selby on Sunday could be an appropriate climax to this year.
The “Jester” himself enjoyed a spell of domination a few years ago and is presently rediscovering that level of winning mentality.
Selby won last week’s Scottish Open to add to the European Masters crown he bagged at the start of this campaign.
Aside from a short-formatted Championship League meeting, Trump and Selby haven’t faced off against one another in 2020 so it would potentially be an end-of-year duel to savour.
Whatever happens, it has been a twelve-month spell to remember for the exciting competitor from Bristol.
Crucible king O’Sullivan may be the contender in the running for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on Sunday, but based on snooker performances alone, there has been nobody better this year than Trump.
Featured photo credit: WST