Judd Trump produced a stirring fight back to win the 2023 English Open with a 9-7 victory over Zhang Anda on Sunday in Brentwood.
The Englishman captured the Steve Davis Trophy for a second time, adding to his previous triumph at the Home Nations tournament in 2020.
In addition to claiming the £80,000 champion’s cheque, Trump’s success takes his impressive tally of ranking titles to 24 – sixth on the all-time list.
Against an opponent ranked 52 places below him in the official world rankings list, Trump had been an overwhelming favourite.
But Zhang defied his underdog status to begin his maiden appearance in a ranking final in strong fashion.
The 31 year-old from China won five out of the first six frames as his esteemed opponent unexpectedly struggled.
Trump won the last two of the first session with breaks of 56 and 120 to trail by only a couple in between sessions.
Several miscued shots led the former world number one to make the decision to change his tip ahead of the second bout of play.
Yet it was all Zhang again upon the resumption, with impressive contributions of 109 and 98 taking him 7-3 in front.
By now an unlikely victory was within reach, one which would have come with other potential riches including a spot in next month’s Champion of Champions.
However, as all proven champions have the capability of doing, Trump dug deep and mustered something from somewhere.
The 34 year-old fought back from 5-2 down to pip John Higgins in the semi-finals on Saturday at the Brentwood Centre.
Another remarkable comeback ensued in this 2023 English Open final, with Trump duly taking the last six frames on the bounce.
Zhang had a couple of opportunities, but his challenge eventually faded, and once Trump got back on level terms with breaks of 135 and 53, the outcome was almost inevitable.
It was still a terrific week for Zhang, who upset Ronnie O’Sullivan in the fourth round.
The former Asian under-21 champion will rise to a career-high world ranking of number 40 following his performances this week.
Trump, meanwhile, will move back into the top four after claiming a fifth career title in the Home Nations series.
The reigning Masters winner had endured quite a long wait since his last ranking victory.
Three defeats in finals – including at the European Masters this term – had been experienced since last lifting silverware of such status at the 2022 Turkish Masters.
With this win, however, it will be interesting to see what kind of impact the boost in confidence will have on his season.
There is a busy period of snooker ahead, and Trump has shown in the past how he can be a dominant force when on a roll.
The Englishman unfortunately doesn’t have long to celebrate, with the Wuhan Open beginning on Monday in China.
Trump will be among the betting favourites for glory again with plenty of tips available on bettingtips4you for snooker and other sports.
2023 ENGLISH OPEN DRAW
Round of 128
(held over fixtures)
Mark Selby 4-1 Xing Zihao
Ryan Day 4-2 Ashley Hugill
John Higgins 4-3 Marco Fu
Kyren Wilson 3-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-0 Sean O’Sullivan
Robert Milkins 4-1 Robbie Williams
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Anthony Hamilton
Mark Allen 4-0 Mostafa Dorgham
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 Andrew Pagett
Jack Lisowski 4-1 Matthew Stevens
Elliot Slessor 4-2 Ryan Davies
Ali Carter 4-1 Jamie Clarke
Neil Robertson 2-4 Sanderson Lam
Shaun Murphy 3-4 Liu Hongyu
Mark Williams 4-0 Ian Burns
Ding Junhui 4-3 Ma Hailong
Luca Brecel 4-3 Stan Moody
Round of 64
Mark Selby 2-4 Martin O’Donnell
Stephen Maguire 4-2 Louis Heathcote
Ryan Day 3-4 He Guoqiang
Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Julien Leclercq
David Lilley 2-4 Mark Davis
James Cahill 2-4 John Higgins
Cao Yupeng 4-0 David Gilbert
Martin Gould 1-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-1 Scott Donaldson
Jimmy Robertson 4-3 Allan Taylor
Robert Milkins 4-3 Adam Duffy
Tom Ford 2-4 Yuan Sijun
Hammad Miah 2-4 Ricky Walden
Graeme Dott 4-2 Barry Hawkins
Michael White 3-4 Matthew Selt
Wu Yize 1-4 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 Jackson Page
Si Jiahui 4-0 Fergal O’Brien
Jack Lisowski 3-4 Elliot Slessor
Anthony McGill 1-4 Zhang Anda
Lukas Kleckers 1-4 Jenson Kendrick
Liam Pullen 0-4 Ali Carter
Andrew Higginson 2-4 Zhou Yuelong
Stuart Carrington 0-4 Sanderson Lam
Liu Hongyu 4-1 Joe O’Connor
Chris Wakelin 4-1 Jamie Jones
Mark Williams 4-3 Xiao Guodong
Dylan Emery 4-1 Oliver Brown
Dominic Dale 3-4 Gary Wilson
David Grace 1-4 Ding Junhui
Muhammad Asif 4-3 Fan Zhengyi
Andy Hicks 1-4 Luca Brecel
Round of 32
Martin O’Donnell 4-1 Stephen Maguire
He Guoqiang 4-3 Hossein Vafaei
Mark Davis 0-4 John Higgins
Cao Yupeng 2-4 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-3 Jimmy Robertson
Robert Milkins 1-4 Yuan Sijun
Ricky Walden 4-3 Graeme Dott
Matthew Selt 4-2 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Si Jiahui
Elliot Slessor 1-4 Zhang Anda
Jenson Kendrick 0-4 Ali Carter
Zhou Yuelong 4-0 Sanderson Lam
Liu Hongyu 4-3 Chris Wakelin
Mark Williams 4-2 Dylan Emery
Gary Wilson 2-4 Ding Junhui
Muhammad Asif 0-4 Luca Brecel
Round of 16
Martin O’Donnell 4-2 He Guoqiang
John Higgins 4-1 Oliver Lines
Judd Trump 4-2 Yuan Sijun
Ricky Walden 3-4 Matthew Selt
Ronnie O’Sullivan 2-4 Zhang Anda
Ali Carter 1-4 Zhou Yuelong
Liu Hongyu 4-3 Mark Williams
Ding Junhui 4-3 Luca Brecel
Martin O’Donnell 1-5 John Higgins
Judd Trump 5-1 Matthew Selt
Zhang Anda 5-4 Zhou Yuelong
Liu Hongyu 5-2 Ding Junhui
John Higgins 5-6 Judd Trump
Zhang Anda 6-2 Liu Hongyu
Judd Trump 9-7 Zhang Anda
Featured photo credit: WST