What a day for Judd Trump, the biggest of his young career.

He took the opportunity yesterday to hit back at those who had criticised him for not making faster progress.

Well, many people talk a good game but, unlike them, Trump plays one. He did so again yesterday in the semi-finals against Shaun Murphy, employing a mature approach and playing the percentages.

I’m pleased for Judd and his family, particularly his dad, Steve, who clocked up hundreds of miles on the motorways driving him to junior tournaments every weekend, toughening him up for competition.

Murphy was unhappy with all the cameras and phones going off. He’s right. It’s patronising to say that that’s the culture in China and the players should accept it. Spectators are specifically told – many times – to turn them off and should do so.

Mark Selby’s impressive fluency against Ali Carter only emerged in patches against Ding Junhui.

His semi-final victory took a long time to complete. Too long, in fact, for Ding who said afterwards that Selby’s slow play had done him in.

Actually, if a match goes scrappy or gets bogged down then it’s up to the player who doesn’t suit this style of play to force the pace or open things up.

So the China Open final is an intriguing battle between Selby, looking for his second ranking title, and Trump, seeking his first.

Both these players benefited from the commitment to the game of Malcolm Thorne, who ran all those junior events that gave them a chance to play and a chance to improve.

Malcolm died in January but he would be very proud to see these two lads going head-to-head in Beijing.


Betty Logan said...

It's disappointing to see Selby revert to his old ways, but you can't blame him really, he'll never have a better chance to capture that elusive second ranking title. I hope it doesn't derail Judd today, I feel his time has come.

Anonymous said...

Just into the 3rd frame and Joe and Mike have mentioned Ronnie 6 times. Do they have posters of him in the commentary box I wonder?
Ding was right about Selby. He IS too slow. He wrecks any entertainment value the game has.
Snooker would thrive without the likes of him.

Simona said...

selby is the biggest grinder in the game now, name a different layer if you don't agree. he is unbelievably slow.

Anonymous said...

You folks can't have been watching snooker for very long if you think Selby's slow

That noise you can hear is Cliff Thorburn laughing down his sleeve

Anonymous said...


why do they not throw out the camera/phone offenders?

theyd soon learn

Matt said...

Trump would be good to see him win the China Open then again Selby has a great chance. 5-3 to Trump really should've been 6-2

TazMania said...

Selby is far too negetive, Im a big snooker fan but find it hard to watch matches with selby playing like this. Theres nothing wrong with safety play but his shot selection slows the frames down too much! Feel a afwul lot sorry for ding who had to play and endure this for 5 hours. I was only watching!!!

JIMO96 said...

Players like Selby are speeding up the introduction of some kind of shot clock rule....and it's hard to disagree when you witness his slowing down tactics. I've thought his tactics were questionable ever since the 2007 world final, in which he applied the brakes to Higgins, and the "shot time" graphic was too regular a feature.
Contrast that with the free flowing, exciting tempo deployed by Trump, and it becomes obvious who snookers future viewers will want to watch. I'm sure Barry Hearn and all of snookers sponsors are hoping that players with Trumps approach will become the norm, and the popularity of the sport will soar.
It's a pity because Selby is such a wonderful heavy scorer and tough opponent, but he wins few friends with his negativity. However, it's all within the (current) rules, and until a rule change is introduced which encourages positivity (soon I hope!), then players like Trump, Ding etc will continue to be thwarted by the likes of Selby. And players like Harold, Hamilton, Lawler (I could go on) will stubbornly hold onto their journeyman ranking positions at the expense of young attacking talent.

Anonymous said...

if ding cant be patient enough to "play in a 5 hour game" where he can gain valuable ranking points and many thousands of pounds extra for progressing a round further then hes not what i call "trully professional".

Anonymous said...

It's pathetic to see Trump who regularily fails to qualify for events hyped up as the best thing to happen in snooker. Is the game really in such poor state? Really, I don't remember so much hoopla about Walden when he won Shanghai Masters, and Walden at least is a very solid player, consistently qualifying for ranking events.

Anonymous said...

2.09, spot on. I recorded the final and watched it on a one hour playback so I could fast forward Selbys visits.
He is wrecking the game as a spectator sport. Shot clocks must be brought in soon.

TazMania said...

Ano 4:03 I never said he was not patient enough, but i said watching these negetive tactics deployed by selby means any one with the best of temperaments will be heavily be effected - Look at J higgins, K. Doherty great safety players never complained even though the play tonnes of it. Cos they play positive safety. I think his negetivity means selby loses a lot of matches he should win if he took some of the chances. He has great talent no question. If he played every match like the final today. He would win more titles.


Hi David. Great performance from both. A great win for Judd Trump. It will, I am sure, be the first of many professional titles for him. He came up Trumps today. Well deserved. Six Centuries between Selby and Trump in the contest. Three centuries from each player. Classic, High quality. All in all, a great final.

Anonymous said...

JIMO96 - maybe we should outlaw safety shots all together. One of the most talked about matches in recent years was Peter Ebdon's 13-11 win over R.O'Sullivan at the Crucible from 2-8.
Snooker, like all sports, is about different personalities and styles, and I for one do not want to see 2 young potting machines play each other in every match.

Anonymous said...

Selby makes it very hard to watch snooker. He's just so negative and slow and his anctics are annoying as hell!

I'm glad Trump didn't care and still won.

Anonymous said...

5.01, you cannot seriously compare Waldens win with Trumps.
Walden, while a good player, is a journeyman, who, like burnett, had a good week but will never do it again.
He is also in the same mould as selby, perry and Hamilton. Boring. Walking around the table looking at the obvious shot, and taking forever to cue it.
Trump is a breath of fresh air for snooker and will push up viewing figures, enabling the likes of Selby and Walden to earn far more than they are worth.

Anonymous said...

Some moronic comments about Selby in this thread...

Anonymous said...

First we shall wait till the next match Trump wins - judging by last seasons, it can be a while.
Once he proves he is as good as he talks about himself, he may be called a breath of fresh air, though I fail to see what is it that he has that we've never seen before? But so far he's made himself a name as mr. Consistant - consistantly failing to qualify for tournaments.
Wait till it changes before declaring him the next great champion.

Ding was once hyped by everyone as the next multiple world champion - did't work out. Selby two years ago was a breath of fresh air, best hope of snooker etc - now he's universally hated across all snooker forums despite the fact that he always can be relied on turning up at every event and entertaining the crowd. Now there's Trump...

Anonymous said...

Jealously is the tribute mediocrity pays to success

Well done Judd

Anonymous said...

11.51, what a profound statement. Did it take you long to think that up?

Anonymous said...

11.51 is deffinitely the most sensible comment on this thread

I'm having a good laugh reading you lot on here!

jamie brannon said...

Walden is more talented than a journeyman but his first win came probably a little late for him to go on and be a serial winner of tournaments in the way that Higgins, Williams et al have.

Wouldn't rule out Ricky winning another, though.

I believe that you can win a first ranking title in your thirties, but to be an all-time great in the modern game you need to be winning your first before the age of roughly twenty-three.

This is whhy people were perhaps criticising Trump for as the way he has been billed is not just to win the odd tournament. Instead, to join the pantheon of legendary champions.