The International Championship final pits one audaciously talented left-hander against another. Judd Trump will battle Neil Robertson for the £125,000 first prize.
While Trump hammered an out of sorts Peter Ebdon 9-1 in their semi-final, Robertson laboured to victory over Shaun Murphy. It was 9-5 but the final session was poor, with both players well below their best.
Robertson, though, got the win and can be expected to play much better in the final. Indeed, he has still only lost one televised final and has a formidable big match temperament.
In my opinion Trump and Robertson are the most reliable long potters in the game, so the key will be who scores the heaviest when they get in.
On that score Robertson has made five centuries during the tournament to Trump’s two, although an 80+ will do just as well.
These two had a couple of notable duels last season. Trump shaded it 9-7 in the UK Championship semi-finals while Robertson beat him 6-3 at the same stage of the Masters.
There were a few afters following that one, with Robertson complaining about the behaviour of some of Trump’s supporters and Trump saying the Australian was too slow.
Judd is too young to remember the really slow players of yesteryear, who would have regarded Robertson as Speedy Gonzalez in comparison.
Players play to a pace they feel comfortable with. Robertson has slowed down over the years but this has coincided with him winning big titles because he has developed into one of the most reliable competitors in the game.
Trump’s view is that if you see the shot you should play it without prevarication. There is, however, a fine line between prevarication and a common sense standing back and assessing the options.
For all this, it isn’t a grudge match. The two get on fine from what I’ve seen and can’t fail to respect one another’s abilities.
Who cares if the players are friends anyway? They are supposed to be rivals.
A well known player who I respect a great deal told me recently that he is friendly with most players but they aren’t his pals: he has his own friends away from snooker.
Let’s hope Trump and Robertson put on a show. I’m sure they will. They are two great players to watch and this prestigious new tournament deserves a cracking climax.
Something tells me it is going to get one.