Snooker: Trump gunning for Higgins revenge
PUBLISHED: 17:56 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:56 30 April 2018
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A slighted Judd Trump is a dangerous Judd Trump, so John Higgins would be well-served to watch his back as the Romford-based cueman guns for revenge in their Betfred Snooker World Championship quarter-final.
Trump and four-time world champion Higgins will meet at the Crucible Theatre for the first time since their memorable clash in the 2011 World Championship final – where the Scot prevailed 18-15 in an epic.
Trump reached the last-eight by downing Ricky Walden 13-9 on Monday but it took the world number four feeling disrespected to bring out his best snooker.
The 28-year-old was in trouble at 9-8 down and 42 points behind when Walden attempted to outlandishly pot a red into the middle pocket from near the black spot but missed, allowing Trump to make a 66 clearance and level the match at 9-9.
He then reeled off four frames on the spin, including a fourth century of the match, as he showed just why he has been consistently labelled a future world champion since bursting on to the snooker scene.
“I think the red he took on was a liberty,” said Trump. “He probably thought the way I was playing that I wasn’t going to clear up, so when he took on that crazy shot – it kind of spurred me on.
“I thought ‘he shouldn’t be playing that against me’ and something inside me fired up.
“That’s what I needed to happen there. For the first time in the Championship I felt alive – the adrenaline kicked in and that was my moment.
“I had to step up to the plate because otherwise I was going home. Something kicked in, I made a really good clearance and from then on he made a few mistakes and I scored a lot more heavily.”
There is no little irony in the fact that Trump – a man who built the early part of his career on an almost suicidally-attacking shot selection and who has irked some opponents by not always apologising for flukes – felt slighted by Walden.
But he will need to replicate the sort of snooker the perceived insult produced if he is to beat Higgins and reach the semi-finals at the Crucible for the fourth time in his career.
Their 2011 final saw the exciting, raw and incredibly talented 21-year-old Trump eventually fall just short against the wily veteran Scot, but he will try to use the memory of that showpiece’s unbelievable atmosphere to get revenge against Higgins.
“That 2011 final was still the best atmosphere I have ever experienced – probably in any sport I have ever seen,” added Trump.
“It was amazing. I’ll try to draw inspiration from that, take the game to him again, play fearlessly but then hopefully now I’ll have the experience to shut up shop when I need to.
“John’s a little bit older now – if he plays how he has been doing and keeps his consistency, then I’ll have to play the best snooker of my life to get close to him but he could have a bad session or two.
“I’m growing into the tournament – I’m now in the quarter-finals and I’ve only just got going, so it would be nice to build on that confidence.”
*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.