Judd Trump: Doubters gave me fire to succeed, says world champion


Judd Trump became world snooker champion for the first time after a final that produced a record 11 centuries

Judd Trump says he took satisfaction from “proving the doubters wrong” with his first World Championship title.

Trump, 29, said he received a tweet when he was 6-3 down to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the first round which said he was “bottling it again”.

He edged through that in a final-frame decider and reached the final where he dismantled John Higgins 18-9.

“I am going to reply to the tweet,” Trump said with a grin. “It had given me the fire.”

The Bristolian had been touted as a world champion since the age of 14 and finally fulfilled his potential at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

Some questioned whether he had the temperament or game to go all the way – yet one punter won £10,000 on a 1,000-1 bet, made when Trump was eight, that he would become world champion.

A breathtaking final saw a record 11 centuries being compiled, with Trump contributing seven.

Trump said: “You don’t bottle it this day and age; there are so many tough players.

“So for me just to go out there and, not prove everyone wrong because I’ve got a lot of support as well, but just to prove some of the people that put you down for no reason, it is nice to do that.

“It was incredible to do it in the way I did in that kind of standard in the final. I still proved wrong a few doubters so it’s nice to get that out of the way.”

Can Trump dominate?

Trump became the youngest world champion since Australia’s Neil Robertson won for the only time in 2010 and World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn hailed the Englishman as snooker’s “new king”.

When Hearn took over the sport in 2009, there were six ranking events and £3.5m in prize money. A decade later, there are 20 ranking events and more than £15m in prize money.

Trump said: “There are a lot of things I think need changing. Snooker is a bit stuck in its way so I’d love to sit down and talk to Barry about that kind of thing.

“It can still be a little bit old-fashioned in those kind of ways. I would love to bring it up-to-date and get some more people interested in snooker.”

World final is ‘the best I’ve ever played’ – Trump

When Trump returns to Sheffield next year, he will be introduced into the arena on the opening morning as the defending champion and will be aiming to break the ‘Crucible Curse’.

No first-time champion has managed to retain their title the following year.

“Hopefully I can be a multiple champion,” said Trump. “I would like to win it more than once, then see what happens but the standard is so tough.

“The first one is always very special but I can’t get too carried away. Other great players have only won it a couple of times: Mark Williams, Neil [Robertson] has only won it once as well, so I can’t get too carried away.”

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry said Trump’s triumph could herald a “new era of dominance from one player” in snooker.

Steve Davis won six titles in the 1980s, while Hendry went on to win seven in the 90s.

But Trump said: “I don’t think any more that’s possible. I think obviously if I can suddenly start playing how I did in the final every single game, then I could get close – but in this day and age, just take it one game at a time.”

‘I still like a party now and again’

Judd Trump fondness for partying in the early years of his career has been well documented

Having won the world title, which earned him £500,000, to go with the Masters in January and two other ranking events, Trump became the first player to claim more than £1m in prize money in a single season.

His Crucible triumph means he has completed snooker’s Triple Crown – the World Championship, the Masters and the UK Championship, the latter of which he won in 2011.

After that UK Championship win, Trump bought a £100,000 Ferrari