Judd Trump and Anthony McGill will face each other in the first round of the 2023 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
This season for Judd Trump
Aside from a two week period in January, the 2022/23 snooker season has been far from Judd Trump’s best.
To be fair, Trump chose a decent couple of weeks to find form as he captured a second Masters crown at the Alexandra Palace in January before running out of gas upon reaching the final of the World Grand Prix a week later.
The 2019 world champion also reached the finals of two other invitational tournaments – the Champion of Champions where he lost to Ronnie O’Sullivan and the Championship League when he was beaten by John Higgins.
In terms of ranking events it hasn’t been a good year by his lofty expectations, and aside from the World Grand Prix he has only quarter-final appearances to his name.
Trump sustained a relentless streak of success between 2019 and 2021, but since then it has been tough work and there has been a lot of inconsistency.
The 33 year-old is more than capable of finding the spark again, and he does have a decent record at the Crucible Theatre to fall back on.
This season for Anthony McGill
It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of form Anthony McGill finds himself in – he’ll be at the Crucible Theatre regardless.
The 32 year-old from Scotland is back for a ninth consecutive appearance since reaching the quarter-final on his debut in 2015.
This season, McGill reached the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Open and the last eight at the World Grand Prix.
Apart from that there hasn’t been much to talk about, but the Glaswegian has proved in the past his pedigree at the Crucible.
McGill was denied a place in the 2020 final after a thrilling deciding-frame classic with Kyren Wilson, and he reached the quarter-finals again the following year.
Trump and McGill head-to-head
There are a few surprisingly one-sided head-to-head records in the first-round ties, with this among them.
Trump boasts a 9-1 superior advantage from their prior battles in all competitions on the World Snooker Tour.
Some of those victories have transpired in the Championship League, but many have been notable affairs – none more so that at the Crucible Theatre 12 months ago when Trump beat McGill 13-11 in the second round.
The latter’s solitary triumph occurred in the 2014 Riga Open in a decider over seven frames.
Few of the seeds would have wanted to be paired with McGill, who represents one of the toughest qualifiers on paper given his track record in Sheffield.
McGill has big wins at the Crucible under his belt and will be there to take advantage if Trump, for whatever reason, doesn’t turn up.
But with a 9-1 head-to-head record, Trump is hardly going to be shaking in his boots and must feel confident against a player he has enjoyed so much success against.
Prediction: Judd Trump 10-6 Anthony McGill
Tuesday, April 18th – 2:30pm
Wednesday, April 19th – 2:30pm
Featured photo credit: WST
I’m surprised by that head-to-head but McGill did push him close last year and he invariably finds a gear at the Crucible. However, Trump is now a master of winning scrappy and is my tip in the top half of the draw. Prediction: Trump 10-8 McGill