Judd Trump secured his fourth Northern Ireland Open title by defeating Chris Wakelin with a commanding 9-3 score on Sunday in Belfast, marking a spectacular hat-trick of consecutive ranking victories.
Trump’s Dominant Display
The world number three showcased exceptional skills in a remarkable performance during the Northern Ireland Open final, especially during the second session. His clinical display allowed him to overcome the challenge posed by fellow Englishman Chris Wakelin.
A Historic Hat-Trick
Judd Trump’s victory at the 2023 Northern Ireland Open is not only his fourth title but also represents his third consecutive triumph on this year’s snooker calendar. This remarkable feat places him among an elite group of players who have secured a hat-trick of consecutive ranking crowns.
Adding the Alex Higgins Trophy to the Collection
In addition to the Northern Ireland Open title, Judd Trump also claims the prestigious Alex Higgins Trophy, adding it to the silverware he captured earlier in October at the English and Wuhan Opens.
A Hefty Prize Purse
Across these three tournaments, Trump has pocketed a staggering £300,000 in prize money, further solidifying his status as one of the sport’s top contenders. With this significant income boost, Trump is closing in on the top spot in the world rankings once more.
A Riveting Contest
The early stages of the Northern Ireland Open final witnessed tightly contested frames, with the scores tied at 2-2 heading into the first mid-session interval. However, as the game progressed, a combination of Chris Wakelin’s performance level deteriorating and Judd Trump’s resurgence altered the trajectory of the encounter.
Trump’s Dominance Shines Through
Trump secured four consecutive frames in the first session, establishing a commanding 6-2 lead. His dominance continued as he compiled quick-fire centuries to inch closer to a glorious victory.
Superb Knock to Seal Victory
In the 12th frame, Judd Trump showcased his brilliance by recording a superb break of 129, sealing his triumph in the tournament.
Trump’s Surreal Journey
Reflecting on his accomplishment, Judd Trump expressed his surprise, stating, “It’s kind of just blended in as in one big tournament, it feels like I’ve won 20 matches at one event – just because it’s happened so quick.” The fast-paced succession of victories had left him somewhat dazed, highlighting the intensity of his remarkable performance.
Confidence and Comfort in the Lead
Trump elaborated on the significance of taking an early lead in matches, explaining, “It’s a lot more difficult when you’re behind, you’re on the verge of going out. You’re under a lot of pressure.” Being in the lead allowed him to relax and deliver his best performance.
A silver lining for Chris Wakelin is his guaranteed ticket to the upcoming Champion of Champions invitational. Marking a significant milestone in his career. Furthermore, the 31-year-old will rise to a career-high ranking of number 21 in the world. Underlining his continued progress in the snooker world.
Judd Trump’s hat-trick at the Northern Ireland Open solidifies his reputation as a dominant force in snooker. His remarkable journey continues to captivate fans and inspire newcomers to the sport.