Phil Haigh ✍️
Judd Trump says there is no special reason why he is winning fewer tournaments now than he was during his remarkable purple patch, he just hit form for a time and now he is out of it again.
The 33-year-old enjoyed a remarkable spell from the end of 2018 until early 2021, when he was racking up titles at an incredible rate.
He won the World Championship in 2019 and then set a new record of six ranking titles in the 2019/20 season, before notching up another five the following campaign.
Last season felt like a significant drop-off for the Ace as he won just the Turkish Masters and Champion of Champions, although he reached two other finals, one of which being at the Crucible.
It was still a very good season by most player’s standards, and Trump feels it was still very good going, there was just no way that he could keep up the form that saw him winning five or six tournaments in a season, which only came many years after turning professional in 2005.
‘The simple fact is that for maybe 12 years of my career I was winning one or two events a year,’ Trump told Eurosport. ‘It’s only the last couple of seasons I was able to win five or six. It’s just not sustainable to be doing that.
‘It’s hard. It’s hard to keep that motivation. To be honest, you can’t keep that up your whole career, you can’t do it every year.
‘If you’re winning two or three events a year you’re doing well. Five or six, you’ll last about five years and you’ll have to retire. It’s too hard.’
On what feels different now to when he was at the peak of his powers, Trump feels it is just a slight dip in confidence that hampers him at crucial times.
‘The difference is the important clearances. I’ve lost deciding frames that I would never have lost. Just because you’re not as confident,’ he explained.
‘It’s not as much you know you’re going to clear up, you’re hoping you’re going to clear up and you never do.
‘It’s just because I’m not winning every time I play, it’s as simple as that. Maybe it’s just back to normal how I was before I was winning everything.
‘I’m just going to have to settle for bits and pieces till hopefully I can find that form again.’
Anthony Hamilton, who has been on the professional tour since 1991 so has seen most things there is to see in snooker, predicted this very situation back in March 2021, just after Trump won that season’s Gibraltar Open.
The Sheriff of Pottingham appeared on the Talking Snooker podcast just a day after Trump lifted that trophy, but even then he thought the purple patch was fading, and Judd has won just one ranking title since then.
‘It’s just peaks and troughs of trying to play this stupidly tough game,’ Hamilton said. ‘It’s impossible to keep your form for long.
‘Some of the players that are doing it, i.e. Judd Trump, what he does, he can’t keep it up for much longer, honestly.
‘Everyone has their shelf life of form and his is starting to go the other way now because it’s just impossible to keep your form going as he has done so far.’
Trump is yet to lift a trophy this season, coming closest when he lost in the Champion of Champions final to Ronnie O’Sullivan.
He is looking to pick up his first title of this campaign at the English Open this week.
This post appeared first on Snooker – Metro.