Judd Trump was crowned a ranking event winner for the 25th time, as he came from behind to beat Ali Carter 10-7 in the final of the inaugural Wuhan Open.
The victory is all the more remarkable given Trump was battling from 7-3 down to beat Zhang Anda 9-7 in the final of the English Open in Brentwood this time last week, when he claimed a first ranking title for 19 months. He arrived to begin competing in Wuhan two days late and made up for that with two match wins on Wednesday.
It’s the fourth time Trump has won back-to-back titles. He is only the third ever player to win successive tournaments in different countries, following in the footsteps of Stephen Hendry in 1990 and Mark Williams in 2002.
Trump now draws level on 25 with Williams in fifth position on the all-time ranking event winner’s list. Only Ronnie O’Sullivan (39), Hendry (36), John Higgins (31) and Steve Davis (28) have won more.
This week’s tournament marked a first ranking event in Asia since the 2019 World Open in Yushan, a tournament which Trump won. He has now been victorious in three of the last four ranking events to be staged in China. The Ace in the Pack scoops £140,000 for his victory this week, meaning he will move ahead of Mark Allen and become the world number three.
Carter will be disappointed to leave Wuhan without the trophy, but can be pleased to look back on a second final of 2023. He picked up the title at the German Masters back in February, when he defeated Tom Ford in the final in Berlin.
The Captain earns the £63,000 runner-up cheque for his showing this week. His run of 145 in the semi-finals means he shares the high break prize with Aaron Hill, they pocket £2,500 each.
The afternoon session saw Carter battle back from 4-1 down to earn a 5-4 lead heading into tonight. However, it was Trump who hit the ground running this evening to wrest control of this encounter.
Breaks of 116, 56 and 71 saw Trump take a quickfire three on the bounce to move 7-5 ahead. A gutsy contribution of 56 saw Carter close the gap to a single frame, but it was Trump who took the 14th to lead 8-6.
It had looked like Carter would again move within a single frame, but a spurned green to the middle allowed Trump to move to the verge of victory at 9-6. Both players missed final pinks in the next, but it was eventually Carter who deposited it to stay in the contest. However, the 17th frame proved to be the last of the evening with Trump hammering home a spectacular match winning run of 105 to secure the title.
“It was very good. From where I was at the start of the tournament, when I just turned up and hoped for the best. The first day surprised me because I did play pretty well. With that comes a little bit of expectation. The first few rounds did give me a bit of confidence,” said 34-year-old Trump.
“I didn’t give myself much of a chance, but I was so relieved to have won the title last week that this was a bit of a free hit. Nothing really mattered after getting that title. It isn’t until the semi-final stage that you really want to win again. When you get to the final you don’t want to be on the losing end. My record in finals over the last five to ten occasions hasn’t been as good as it was before, so it was nice to get the win.
“My confidence was extremely high at the start of the season. I felt like I was playing really well in practice. I knew the form was there. It was just about having that bit of luck at the right times, which I don’t think was happening. Your confidence then gets knocked and you don’t win. Every season is so different from the one before. This season has been completely different. I’ve got off to an extremely good start and it is probably as well as I’ve ever started a season.
“I think this could be the best venue in China. The way the arena was set up and the amount of people in there made it a very inspiring place to play snooker. Sometimes in the past the arena has been too big and felt empty, but there were a lot of people in there and it spurred me on. I’m definitely someone that likes to play in front of a big crowd.”
Carter said: “I just managed to hang in there today and hoped it would turn. In the end I didn’t have a lot left to be honest. I gave it my best go and it has been a successful week. The ranking points are important and there is lots to look forward to for the rest of the season. I’ve had a good start to the season so far. This is such a big event, to get 63,000 ranking points is almost like a tournament win. Onwards and upwards.”
Article via WST.