Stephen Hendry explains how Judd Trump has become snooker’s most potent force

Judd Trump is the favourite to win the UK Championship (Picture: Getty Images)

Judd Trump has become the best snooker player on the planet over the last 12 months and Stephen Hendry believes this is down to his commitment and tournament management.

The 30-year-old first won a ranking event in 2011, but it has not been until this year that he has really fulfilled his immense potential.

Trump won the Masters in spectacular style in January, hammering Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final, before dismantling another legend, John Higgins, to claim his first World Championship in May.

The world number one has followed up his stunning Crucible success with three ranking titles already this season and we appear to now be living in the Trump era on the baize.

Seven-time world champion Hendry believes that this is down to Judd giving the game his full focus and learning how to work his way into tournament.

Trump claimed the Northern Ireland Open for a second time earlier this month (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

‘Judd has made snooker his life. That was not always the case. It’s now his number one priority,’ Hendry told the BBC.

‘He was ready to sacrifice and not view snooker as a part-time thing and it’s working.

‘On his day he could always be amazing, but he is far more consistent now.

‘One of the big things with Judd now is that he gets into a tournament and is timing it right so that by the time he is playing in the semi-finals and final he is peaking.

‘His stats in the latter stages are incredible and he is playing his best against the best opposition.’

This was particularly evident at the World Championship when he nearly fell in the first round, scraping past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a deciding frame, but went on to dominate Higgins and thrash the Scot 18-9 in the final.

Trump now has 14 ranking titles to his name and Hendry things that he will be challenging the record currently held by himself and Ronnie O’Sullivan (36).

‘With the age Judd is, and the fact Ronnie, Mark Williams and John Higgins are now into their 40s, there is every reason to believe that in the next five or six years he can have around 30 ranking events to his name.

‘There’s Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and [Mark] Selby and lots of great players out there, but he is just that little bit above everyone else at the moment.’

The world number one takes on Amine Amiri in round one at the UK Championship on Thursday afternoon as he begins his quest for a 15th ranking title and a second UK crown.

MORE: Judd Trump’s ‘stubbornness and belief in his own ability’ have taken him to the top, believes Michael Holt

MORE: Judd Trump claims Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘can only play well if you let him’


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