Judd Trump
Finals, Main News, Ranking

‘It’s a bit surreal’ – Judd Trump on completing hat-trick

Judd Trump beat Chris Wakelin 9-3 to win the Northern Ireland Open title for a fourth time on Sunday in Belfast.

The world number three produced a clinical display, especially during the second session, to see off the challenge of his fellow Englishman.

It represents a third success on the trot for Trump on this year’s calendar, making him only the fifth player to secure a hat-trick of consecutive ranking crowns.

He adds the Alex Higgins Trophy to the silverware he captured at the English and Wuhan Opens earlier in October.

Across the three tournaments, Trump has pocketed a whopping £300,000 in prize money, and he is not too far behind challenging for top spot in the world rankings again.

The early stages of the Northern Ireland Open final were tight, with the scores tied at 2-2 heading into the first mid-session interval.

However, a combination of Wakelin’s level deteriorating and Trump once again rising to the occasion transformed the encounter’s trajectory.

The latter won the remaining four frames of the first session to establish a commanding 6-2 cushion.

Any hopes of a comeback were immediately dashed upon the game’s resumption, with Trump compiling a brace of quick-fire tons to move to within the brink of glory.

Wakelin briefly delayed the inevitable with a 52 contribution, but Trump completed the rout in the 12th frame with a superb knock of 129.

“I’m a bit surprised,” Judd Trump told the World Snooker Tour during his post-match press conference.

“It’s kind of just blended in as in one big tournament, it feels like I’ve won 20 matches at one event – just because it’s happened so quick.”

“It’s not like the tournaments have been spaced out, it’s a bit surreal really. It hasn’t sunk in.

“I think the last session of that final is probably as close to the best I’ve felt in the whole period, the whole 20-game run. I felt really sharp.

“I felt a bit up and down (during the week). I feel like in some of the games I was not great early on.

“But then I felt that against Stephen Maguire and Barry (Hawkins), I didn’t really do that much wrong.

“It was just they were playing good, and I really had to play my best even to just scrape by.

“I think it makes a hell of a difference when I get off to a good start. When I go in front, I can really relax and overpower the players.

“It’s a lot more difficult when you’re behind, you’re on the verge of going out. You’re under a lot of pressure.

“I think whenever I get into a lead, I get really comfortable and I’m able to play my best then.

“To be honest, I had no expectation going to China (for the Wuhan Open). I thought to win one event is brilliant and just see what happens there.

“But the first couple of days I felt so good, I was just full of confidence and the same in this event.

“When you’re playing well, things just happen for you. People miss at the right times and you’re able to scrape through in the deciders.

“You live to fight another day, and that’s the difference. I’m able to mentally be in the right place and be there present when my chances arise.”

A consolation for Wakelin is a guaranteed ticket to the upcoming Champion of Champions invitational.

The 31 year-old will also rise to a career-high ranking of number 21 in the world.

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

One Comment

  1. Jay brannon

    Trump now has 26 ranking titles, placing him fifth on the all-time list, one above Mark Williams and two below Steve Davis. It’s his fifth title of the year and his fourth this season. He’s undeniably snooker’s main man again.

    In winning a fourth Northern Ireland Open, Trump is now in a pretty exclusive club of players who have won the same ranking event four times or more. This is the current list:

    7 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (World and UK Championship) Stephen Hendry (World Championship)

    6 – Steve Davis ( UK Championship)

    5 – Stephen Hendry (UK Championship), John Higgins (Welsh Open)

    4 – Ray Reardon (World Championship) Mark Selby (World Championship) John Higgins, World Championship, British Open and Grand Prix) Mark Selby (World Championship) Steve Davis (UK Championship and International) Judd Trump (Northern Ireland Open) Stephen Hendry (British Open and Grand Prix) Ronnie O’Sullivan (Welsh Open)

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