Ronnie O'Sullivan: Judd Trump not yet a snooker great, says rival


Judd Trump (right) beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the Masters in January

Judd Trump has work to do to be considered one of snooker’s greats, according to legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Trump, 30, has been in imperious form this season following his maiden World Championship title victory in May.

The Bristolian has won three ranking titles already this season and, like O’Sullivan, is safely into round two of the UK Championship in York.

“Judd is a fantastic player and a great talent but the true test is doing it over 10-15 years,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan said 30-year-old Trump’s CV does not compare to his or that of Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Higgins or Ray Reardon – who are all multiple ranking event winners.

Seven-time world champion Hendry and five-time world champion O’Sullivan each have 36 ranking event wins, Higgins has 30 and Davis is fourth on the list with 28. Davis and Reardon have six Crucible titles apiece.

O’Sullivan, who is next in action against China’s Tian Pengfei on Saturday, added: “Many people have won the World Championship, like Ken Doherty. Is he a great? Probably not, he’s just a very, very good player.”

He said the acid test – across all sports – was success over a sustained period.

“You look at [Lionel] Messi, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and you would say they are greats,” O’Sullivan explained. “Rory McIlroy? Is he a great? Not yet. Potentially he probably will be, but you have to watch it unfold.”

Trump is ‘ahead of the pack’

O’Sullivan said Trump’s stunning form made him the “man to beat”, but added that the 13-year age gap between the pair made calling them rivals “very difficult”.

“The rivalry is probably me, Higgins and [Mark] Williams. You had Davis and Hendry or Davis and [Jimmy] White.

“Judd’s rivalry is probably someone more like Ding [Junhui] because they are at the right age and going along at parallel careers,” O’Sullivan added.

“At the moment Judd’s competition is with himself. He seems to be ahead of the pack. He’s number one in the world and world champion.

“He’s the man in form and the man everyone is going to have to stop to win tournaments.”

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