Judd Trump
Main News, Ranking

Judd Trump – ‘you know it can’t go on forever’

Judd Trump took just 45 minutes to win his last-64 match at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast on Tuesday.

The in-form Englishman compiled a brace of century breaks as he rattled off four frames on the trot for a resounding success over Julien Leclercq.

Trump is in a rich vein of form having already captured two ranking titles during the month of October.

His glory at the English Open in Brentwood was quickly followed by a lucrative triumph at the inaugural Wuhan Open.

Should Trump proceed to claim the Alex Higgins Trophy this week for a fourth time, he would become the first player since Ding Junhui ten years ago to win three ranking events in a row on the calendar.

The 34 year-old, who is on a 15-game winning streak, started off with a pair of 108 breaks against Belgium’s Leclercq before taking two scrappier frames to reach the last 32.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t seen a lot of him play before,” Judd Trump told the World Snooker Tour.

“So I didn’t really know what was going to happen out there, but I got off to a good start and just kicked off from there.

“It was a dream start – a century the first frame, a century the second frame. (I) was a little disappointed I couldn’t finish it off in more style.

“I don’t feel fully sharp after a little bit of time off after winning in China – there was a lot of travelling.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to get back fully fit again.

“I hope (this form) carries on for the rest of my career, I could go 500 games undefeated, that’d be nice.

“The more games you win, you’re kind of looking over your shoulder a little bit more, because you know that it can’t go on forever.

“It’s important not to get too negative and try not to lose. I think when I’ve been on runs before, and you saw it last year with Mark Allen, you kind of go a bit negative.

“I think it’s important for me this time to show what I’ve learned from that. Even if I do lose, I go out on my own accord and playing the way I want to play.

“Naturally, it’s going to get harder as you go on. I’ve never won three events in a row before, and it’s something that hasn’t happened a lot.

“It would mean a lot to do well this week, but at this moment in time, I’m just trying to take it one step at a time.

“Every day that goes by I’m able to practice and get that little bit of sharpness back.

“I do feel that if I can win my next game or maybe get into the quarter-finals, the form will be back and the full confidence will be back.

“I feel like I’m someone who plays my best against the top players, it’s something that I’ve improved on over the years.

“I’ve always been quite good at playing the lower-ranked players – going out there and keeping the same mentality.

“But I don’t fully fire unless I’m playing someone on a big stage against a big name.

“Maybe to some of the other players, they can see the draw opening up as more of an opportunity.

“I’m someone who doesn’t look at the draw as it is, I just take what’s in front of me. Every tournament is the same, I give it the same respect.

“I’d love to go out there and win it for a fourth time.”

Elsewhere at the Waterfront Hall, there were victories for this season’s European Masters champion Barry Hawkins and former Crucible king Stuart Bingham.

The latter, sporting new glasses this year in an effort to improve his form, overcame Xu Si while Hawkins repeated the same 4-1 scoreline against Jiang Jun.

Fellow former ranking event winners Stephen Maguire, Ricky Walden, and Joe Perry all advanced as well.

There was drama, meanwhile, in the deciding-frame contest involving Anthony McGill and local amateur Robbie McGuigan.

While 3-1 in front and on the cusp of taking the fifth frame, McGuigan believed he’d already done enough to cause what would have been a huge upset.

But McGill retrieved a three-snooker deficit to pinch that frame and then proceeded to snatch the next two as well to complete a crushing turnaround.

Among the others to qualify for the third round on day three were Chris Wakelin, Jimmy Robertson, and Lyu Haotian.

On Wednesday, the round of 64 concludes before the opening matches in the last 32 take place.

Northern Ireland Open Draw

Round of 128 (bo7)

Mark Allen 4-0 Ben Mertens
Andres Petrov 4-3 Sanderson Lam
Graeme Dott 4-0 Oliver Lines
David Grace 0-4 Zihao Xing
Ricky Walden 4-2 Ben Woollaston
Allan Taylor 1-4 Dominic Dale
Stuart Bingham 4-3 Ashley Hugill
Xu Si 4-2 Alexander Ursenbacher

Mohamed Ibrahim 2-4 Dean Young
Matthew Selt 4-1 Andy Lee
Liam Graham 0-4 Jackson Page
Jack Lisowski 4-1 Rebecca Kenna
David Lilley 1-4 Aaron Hill
Fan Zhengyi 4-2 Liu Hongyu
Dylan Emery 4-3 Martin Gould
Robert Milkins 3-4 Cao Yupeng

Shaun Murphy 4-2 Ryan Thomerson
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
Joe O’Connor 2-4 Zak Surety
Andrew Higginson 2-4 Sean O’Sullivan
Ryan Day 3-4 Ma Hailong
Martin O’Donnell 4-3 Daniel Wells
Chris Wakelin 4-0 Anthony Hamilton
Alfie Burden 4-3 Mostafa Dorgham

Rod Lawler 4-0 Baipat Siripaporn
Zhou Yuelong 2-4 Stan Moody
Andrew Pagett 3-4 Lukas Kleckers
Gary Wilson 4-3 Louis Heathcote
Jamie Clarke 4-3 Alfie Davies
Xiao Guodong 1-4 Yuan Sijun
Jordan Brown 4-2 Stuart Carrington
Neil Robertson 4-1 Wu Yize

Judd Trump 4-1 Jenson Kendrick
Adam Duffy 1-4 Julien Leclercq
Pang Junxu 2-4 Ian Burns
Liam Highfield 3-4 Ken Doherty
Anthony McGill 4-3 Jimmy White
Robbie McGuigan 4-1 Muhammad Asif
Noppon Saengkham 4-0 Himanshu Jain
Manasawin Phetmalaikul 3-4 Barry Pinches

Mink Nutcharut 2-4 Michael White
Joe Perry 4-2 Ishpreet Singh Chadha
Long Zehuang 1-4 Anton Kazakov
Hossein Vafaei 4-1 Mark Joyce
James Cahill 4-1 Duane Jones
Stephen Maguire 4-3 Fergal O’Brien
Reanne Evans 0-4 Hammad Miah
Kyren Wilson 3-4 Sam Craigie

Mark Williams 4-1 Tian Pengfei
Liam Pullen 1-4 Robbie Williams
Si Jiahui 1-4 Zhang Anda
John Astley 0-4 Rory Thor
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Elliot Slessor
Andy Hicks 2-4 Jiang Jun
Jimmy Robertson 4-2 Sydney Wilson
Peng Yison 4-1 He Guoqiang

Matthew Stevens 4-2 Stephen Hendry
David Gilbert 4-1 Joel Connolly
Lyu Haotian 4-1 Ashley Carty
Tom Ford 4-0 Haydon Pinhey
Scott Donaldson 0-4 Mark Davis
Jak Jones 4-0 Oliver Brown
Victor Sarkis 2-4 Ross Muir
Rory McLeod 4-0 Ahmed Aly Elsayed

Round of 64 (bo7)

Mark Allen 3-4 Andres Petrov
Graeme Dott 1-4 Xing Zihao
Ricky Walden 4-3 Dominic Dale
Stuart Bingham 4-1 Xu Si
Dean Young 3-4 Matthew Selt
Jackson Page 1-4 Jack Lisowski
Aaron Hill 4-1 Fan Zhengyi
Dylan Emery 4-3 Cao Yupeng

Shaun Murphy 4-3 Marco Fu
Zak Surety 3-4 Sean O’Sullivan
Ma Hailong 1-4 Martin O’Donnell
Chris Wakelin 4-2 Alfie Burden
Rod Lawler 1-4 Stan Moody
Lukas Kleckers 1-4 Gary Wilson
Jamie Clarke 0-4 Yuan Sijun
Jordan Brown 4-1 Neil Robertson

Judd Trump 4-0 Julien Leclercq
Ian Burns 4-2 Ken Doherty
Anthony McGill 4-3 Robbie McGuigan
Noppon Saengkham 4-1 Barry Pinches
Michael White 3-4 Joe Perry
Anton Kazakov 0-4 Hossein Vafaei
James Cahill 2-4 Stephen Maguire
Hammad Miah 2-4 Sam Craigie

Mark Williams 2-4 Robbie Williams
Zhang Anda 4-1 Rory Thor
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Jiang Jun
Jimmy Robertson 4-0 Peng Yisong
Matthew Stevens 3-4 David Gilbert
Lyu Haotian 4-3 Tom Ford
Mark Davis 2-4 Jak Jones
Ross Muir 3-4 Rory McLeod

Round of 32 (bo7)

Andres Petrov 1-4 Xing Zihao
Ricky Walden 4-1 Stuart Bingham
Matthew Selt 1-4 Jack Lisowski
Aaron Hill 4-0 Dylan Emery

Shaun Murphy 4-0 Sean O’Sullivan
Martin O’Donnell 1-4 Chris Wakelin
Stan Moody 4-2 Gary Wilson
Yuan Sijun 4-2 Jordan Brown

Judd Trump 4-2 Ian Burns
Anthony McGill 0-4 Noppon Saengkham
Joe Perry 4-3 Hossein Vafaei
Stephen Maguire 4-2 Sam Craigie

Robbie Williams 4-1 Zhang Anda
Barry Hawkins 4-1 Jimmy Robertson
David Gilbert 4-1 Lyu Haotian
Jak Jones 3-4 Rory McLeod

Round of 16 (bo7)

Xing Zihao 1-4 Ricky Walden
Jack Lisowski 4-1 Aaron Hill
Shaun Murphy 2-4 Chris Wakelin
Stan Moody 2-4 Yuan Sijun

Judd Trump 4-3 Noppon Saengkham
Joe Perry 3-4 Stephen Maguire
Robbie Williams 0-4 Barry Hawkins
David Gilbert 4-0 Rory McLeod

Quarter-Finals (bo9)

Ricky Walden 1-5 Jack Lisowski
Chris Wakelin 5-2 Yuan Sijun

Judd Trump 5-4 Stephen Maguire
Barry Hawkins 5-4 David Gilbert

Semi-Finals (bo11)

Jack Lisowski 1-6 Chris Wakelin

Judd Trump 6-4 Barry Hawkins

Final (bo17)

Chris Wakelin 3-9 Judd Trump

Featured photo credit: WST

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