Masters final
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The Masters final: Judd Trump vs Mark Williams

The 2023 Masters final will be contested between former champions Judd Trump and Mark Williams on Sunday in London.

After comprehensively winning their respective semi-final ties, the pair will vie for the Paul Hunter Trophy at the Alexandra Palace.

Williams took advantage of a wretched performance from Jack Lisowski to prevail in the opening semi-final courtesy of a bagel scoreline.

In the evening session on Saturday, Trump lost just a single frame as he emerged from a scrappy affair with Stuart Bingham.

The Englishman has been nowhere near his best this week but finds himself in a second Masters final, four years after he captured glory in the event in 2019.

Trump has relied on his battling qualities rather than his trademark attacking prowess to move to within one victory of the £250,000 top prize.

While the 33 year-old has enjoyed a trophy-laden career, titles in the Triple Crown events have been more scarce, but here represents an opportunity to add a fourth piece of silverware of that calibre to his collection.

Yet despite Trump being the higher-ranked competitor in this deciding showdown, it will surely be Williams who starts the tie as the favourite.

The Welshman has produced the most consistent snooker this week and will feature in a fourth Masters final, an incredible 20 years after his last appearance at this late stage.

Just a couple of months shy of his 48th birthday, Williams is the oldest Masters finalist since Ray Reardon’s run aged 50 all the way back in 1983.

This impressive feat also comes on the 25th anniversary of his dramatic maiden victory in the tournament when he pipped Stephen Hendry in a memorable respotted black.

Last season, Williams came agonisingly close to challenging for glory at both the Masters and the World Championship, losing in semi-final deciders in both.

Here then is finally an opportunity for the former world number one to claim what would be an eighth career Triple Crown title.

The player who denied Williams at the Crucible Theatre last April was none other than Trump, and it’s the Englishman who boasts the far superior head-to-head record overall.

Trump has been victorious in 19 of their previous 28 matches in all competitions, triumphing in both of their prior multi-session affairs.

One would think he’d have to raise his game to etch his name onto the trophy for a second time, but that was said of his earlier matches in the competition and he has still found a way to make it through.

Against Williams, though, he will be challenged by a player who possesses one of the coolest temperaments in the game.

This was evident in contrasting scenarios already this week, with Williams fighting back from behind to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan before coolly picking off Lisowski’s error-strewn display in the last four.

Williams will probably look at this as one of his last chances to claim such a prestigious title, although other than his age there’s nothing in his overall form to suggest why that should be the case.

Both protagonists in the Masters final carry heavyweight credentials, and after a somewhat disappointing week of action in the hyped event, let’s hope a scintillating climax is delivered.


Live coverage of the final begins at 1pm and 7pm GMT on the BBC, Eurosport, and other broadcasters around the world.

Featured photo credit: WST

9 Comments

  1. Jay Brannon

    I note you’ve not been particularly excited by the action this week at Ally Pally. We’ve certainly had too many one sided matches for this to be regarded as a vintage addition, but the three 6-5 games on successive and a classic final means I would still regard this year’s running as a very good one. 30 centuries indicated the standard was really high.

    • The final was very good. The rest was forgettable. I don’t subscribe to matches being good just because they go to deciders. The Trump-Day match was the worst I’ve watched in a long time.

  2. Jay Brannon

    No way O’Sullivan v Williams can be seen as forgettable. The standard of safety and scoring was very good. I agree that not every match which goes to decider is a classic but there’s still a curiosity value to matches that bad between world class players. Lisowski v Vafaei was another good match on the Thursday.

  3. Jay Brannon

    I agree that not all matches that go to deciders are good games, but O’Sullivan v Williams definitely wasn’t forgettable.

  4. Jay Brannon

    The standard between those two legends was very good in all departments.

    Trump and Day was so bad that it became more fascinating as how low it could get! I didn’t see that much of Trump v Hawkins. Lisowski and Vafaei served up an open and entertaining game on Thursday night, too.

  5. Jay Brannon

    Sorry for two similar comments being published there. I didn’t think the first comment had gone through.

  6. Jay Brannon

    It wasn’t a patch on last year’s edition but the final and O’Sullivan v Williams deserve to be remembered. I wanted Ronnie but Williams beating him was a big story as only second time in a big match since 2002.

    I actually didn’t know about Cazoo dropping the Players Series events until you said. A few things beginning to concern me about the direction in which snooker is heading..

    • Yeah, it’s amazing how snooker keeps going down the same rabbit hole in terms of sponsorship and putting all their eggs in the same basket. At least WST ended up getting a replacement for that series, I suppose, late though it was.

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