An intriguing, dramatic first day of the Betfred.com World Championship final has left Judd Trump eight frames from becoming the second youngest winner of the title.
Trump, a few months older than Stephen Hendry when he won for the first time in 1990, is 10-7 up overnight against John Higgins.
His fanbase growing all the time, he received a huge cheer as he was introduced into the Crucible and once again stepped up to the occasion.
And again flamboyant shot-making – including the last black he powered in to complete his 103 break in the 12th frame – was the order of the day.
Higgins’s problem was that he wasn’t scoring heavily enough. He competed well tactically and made a couple of good clearances but his highest break was just 64. This surely has to go up if he is to win a fourth world title tonight.
My only concern for Trump is that there were a couple of frames where he was 50-60 ahead and couldn’t close the shop in the way Higgins would do. But for these he could be even further ahead.
But Trump still seems completely unaffected by the whole experience. His little asides to the camera and his obvious enjoyment of the whole experience have been refreshing.
Today is Jimmy White’s 49th birthday. The symmetry is perfect. White famously never won the world title but has graciously sent his best wishes to Trump.
He recognises in this left-hander something of his own early days and the entertainment it is bringing the public.
So it’s the biggest day of the snooker year. 17 days of competition – and the 2010/11 season – ends tonight in Sheffield with the 84 year-old trophy being presented.
If Trump wins the title this evening then this will be a day still talked about many years from now, like the other iconic days snooker has experienced during its rich, varied history.
This exceptionally talented young man has the world at his feet.
Destiny awaits. It’s up to him now.