Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump is into the World Snooker Championship final after a superb 17-16 win over Mark Williams at the Crucible on Saturday afternoon.
The Ace had looked to be cruising into the final in Sheffield as he led 7-1 and 12-5, but the Welshman found top form and battled back all the way to a deciding frame.
Williams took the lead for the very first time in the match at 16-15, but Trump showed great composure and resolve to win the final two frames and book his spot in the showpiece.
There were four centuries for each player in the epic contest, with Williams taking his tally for the tournament to 16, equalling Stephen Hendry’s record for a World Championship, although clearly he cannot now break that record and he shares it with his good friend.
Trump is into the final for a third time after losing to John Higgins in 2011 and then beating the same man in 2019.
It will be either Higgins or Ronnie O’Sullivan that he takes on in the final starting on Sunday, with the two veterans completing their semi-final on Saturday evening.
The match looked set to be an entirely one-sided affair after the first session as Trump won it 7-1 and Williams struggled badly with the conditions.
The Ace played well, but didn’t have to be at his very best to open up the big lead as Williams could not get to grips with the table at all.
Things were going better for the veteran in the second session, but it still looked a monumental task as they shared it 4-4 to end Friday morning with Trump 11-5 ahead.
Trump was in no mood to ease off on Friday evening, winning the first frame with a break of 120 to extend his leaad to 12-5, but the brilliance of Williams then proved undeniable.
The Welshman reeled off five frames on the spin, with a high point of a 137 break. Trump stopped the rot with a superb 125, but then lost the final frame on Friday night and the game was nicely poised at 13-11 in Judd’s favour.
The final frame of the match got underway on Saturday afternoon and it was as dramatic as anything we have seen in the tournament so far.
Trump took the first of the day, but Williams then managed three on the bounce, with another huge break of 137 to level the game up at 14-14.
The Ace took the next, but Williams’ break-building has been immense all event and his huge 138 to go 15-15 was a record-equalling 16th century for a player in a World Championship.
The big breaks couldn’t keep on coming and the next two frames were predictably edgy, with Williams taking the lead for the first time in the match at 16-15, before Trump levelled up to go to a decider.
The decider started in crazy fashion, with Trump getting a fluke and then snookering Williams, who could not find a route out so smashed the cue ball into the reds and got a fluke of his own.
However, he immediately missed a tricky blue and let Trump in to get himself 49 points ahead, before returning to get over the line.
O’Sullivan and Higgins resume on Saturday evening with the Rocket 15-9 ahead of the Wizard.
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