Judd Trump’s capture of the China Open title in Beijing today proves he is the real deal.
It was a wonderful final. Trump and Mark Selby compiled three centuries apiece, the tactical play was strong and there was some terrific long potting from Trump.
The 21 year-old thus becomes the youngest ranking event winner since Ding Junhui won the 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy at the age of 19.
Trump has long been regarded as a rising star. Now, he has arrived. This is very good news for snooker: a new, young face who plays the game in an entertaining way.
Part of his transformation has undoubtedly been moving to Romford. Trump practises at the Grove, also home for Ronnie O’Sullivan, Liu Song, Matt Selt and Jack Lisowski, with whom he also shares a house.
What is significant is that Trump is now standing on his own two feet. I’m sure his mother’s cooking is preferable to what he and Jack can conjure up between them but he has struck out on his own, an important step for any young adult.
He has learned not only about snooker but also about life itself.
Plus, he is getting a higher quality of opposition in practise to help him improve further than he would have got in Bristol.
His match with Neil Robertson on day one of the Betfred.com World Championship always looked tasty.
Now it pits the reigning Crucible champion against the winner of the last ranking event before the biggest tournament of them all.
What a way to start the 17-day marathon of the green baize.