Snooker: Judd Trump has talent to win World Championship says practice partner Ronnie O’Sullivan
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 April 2018
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Pair train together at Grove Academy in Romford
Judd Trump has too much talent not to win multiple snooker World Championships, according to Ronnie O’Sullivan, but may have to wait for some of the more proven winners to retire in order to end his Sheffield hoodoo.
Bristolian Trump has long been touted as a future world champion and admired for his prodigious talent on the baize but has yet to make that assertion a reality – his 2011 final loss to John Higgins the closest he has come.
Now 28, Trump is theoretically entering his prime but finds the likes of Mark Selby, who has triumphed at the Crucible Theatre three times in the last four years, and a trio of 40-somethings – O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams, who have won 11 of the last 20 world titles – standing between him and World Championship success.
Practice partner at Romford’s Grove Academy, O’Sullivan, didn’t win the first of his five world titles until the age of 25 – later than contemporaries Williams and Higgins – and concedes the longer Trump goes without breaking his duck, the harder it becomes.
“I think Judd Trump will win a lot of tournaments and if he doesn’t win the World Championship it will be ridiculous, for someone with that amount of talent,” said O’Sullivan.
“He has too much talent not to win the world title one day and on probably more than one occasion.
“I love practising with him because watching him up close and the way he plays certain shots is a joy to watch. I enjoy spending hours with him on a practice table.
“The longer he goes without winning the world title, the harder it will be though. I found it hard because I was pretty late when I won the Worlds – about 25 years old – and Mark Williams and John Higgins had already won it.
“I felt like I was getting left behind a little bit, so I think it will be playing a little part in his mind.
“I think it will help once me, John Higgins and Mark Selby fade out a little bit because, against us three, we have what it takes to win under pressure, whereas maybe the other players don’t. It may get a bit easier for him once we slow down a bit.”
Trump’s latest quest to join the sport’s elite by lifting the 2018 Betfred World Championship trophy aloft on bank holiday Monday begins against Crucible debutant Chris Wakelin next Wednesday.
The European Masters back in October is the world No.4’s only ranking event success this term, while the veteran O’Sullivan-Williams-Higgins trio have claimed nine ranking titles between them this term.
And ‘the Rocket’ blames the demise of the amateur snooker scene for Trump and other young guns not yet usurping the golden oldies.
“A lot of it is how you progress through the juniors and amateurs and I think me, Mark Williams and John Higgins were ready when we turned pro in 1992,” added O’Sullivan.
“As 14-year-olds we were probably ready to turn pro and I think with a lot of the guys now, you can easily turn professional but they haven’t had the experience of top amateur snooker.
“I think because of that they’re not really good enough to turn professional. I’m not sure if the grounding is as good as it used to be for these young players.”
• Watch the snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.