Ronnie O’Sullivan v Judd Trump: Tour Championship 2019 preview – Rocket and Ace renew rivalry

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O’Sullivan and Trump shake hands prior to The Masters final (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Snooker’s two biggest box office stars renew their fierce rivalry on Thursday as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump face off for a place in the final of the Tour Championship.

A repeat of January’s Masters final sees man of the moment O’Sullivan bidding for revenge over his young nemesis in a mouth-watering two-session shoot-out in Llandudno.

O’Sullivan, the number two seed, remains favourite to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of 36 career ranking titles and in doing so reclaim the world number one spot for the first time since 2010.

The Rocket’s last outing a fortnight ago saw him successfully retain the Players Championship title, wrapping up victory in sensational fashion with the 1,000th century break of his career in Preston.

The 43-year-old has reached the final in six of his nine tournament appearances this season and began his latest quest with a crushing 9-3 win over Stuart Bingham in the Quarter-Finals.

Like O’Sullivan, Trump will also have one eye on landing the Coral Cup after claiming glory in the first Coral Series event – the World Grand Prix – and is on the hunt for his fourth major silverware of the season.

The Bristol ace came from 8-5 down to edge out World Champion Mark Williams 9-8 in his opener and will hold no fear against arguably the sport’s all-time great – whom he has beaten in ten of their 21 previous meetings.

The reigning Masters Champion is enjoying his best season since turning professional in 2005 and is vying to record his third straight win over his great rival.

Trump ran out a 10-4 winner following a dominant display in The Masters final two months ago, that coming after a 9-7 victory in the final of the Northern Ireland Open in November.

Their latest encounter gets underway from 1pm GMT for a total of eight frames, before resuming to a finish from 7pm over the best of 19.

Either International Champion Mark Allen or Welsh Open champion Neil Robertson will await the winner in Sunday’s final at Venue Cymru.