Judd Trump v Ali Carter: World Grand Prix 2019 Final preview – Ace aims to ground The Captain

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Carter and Trump collide in Cheltenham (credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Man of the moment Judd Trump aims to secure a third title of the season by overcoming Ali Carter in the final of the 2019 World Grand Prix in Cheltenham on Sunday.

Trump has enjoyed a sensational season so far, claiming Northern Ireland Open glory last November before going on to lift The Masters trophy at Alexandra Palace last month.

The world number five is appearing in his second Grand Prix final, having won the inaugural staging of the tournament as an invitational in 2015 by defeating rival Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7 in the final.

He now faces a player appearing in his first ranking final for two years after dropping just five frames en route to the decider.

Carter’s last major triumph came at the 2016 World Open, prior to which he had claimed the 2009 Welsh Open, 2010 Shanghai Masters and 2013 German Masters titles alongside a further four runner-up spots.

The world number 19 is closing in on a return to the sport’s elite top 16 after a relatively quiet spell since knocking O’Sullivan out of the World Championship en route to the Quarter-Finals last April.

In-form Trump is vying for his tenth ranking title, eight years since capturing his first, and has performed strongly in all areas so far this week.

The Bristol ace held firm edge out Stuart Carrington 4-3 in Round One before defeating Tom Ford 4-2 and thrashing world number one Mark Selby 5-1 in the Quarter-Finals.

He then produced a clinical break of 95 in the deciding frame to deny Barry Hawkins 6-5 in Saturday’s Semi-Finals.

Carter, meanwhile, began his run with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Martin O’Donnell before dispatching top seed Mark Allen – who conceded the match early in the fifth frame.

The Essex ace then thrashed German Masters finalist David Gilbert 5-1 before producing an equally ruthless display in whitewashing Xiao Guodong 6-0 in the Semi-Finals.

This will be the eighth competitive meeting between ‘The Ace’ and ‘The Captain’, with Carter having won four of their previous seven encounters, including an epic 13-12 triumph in the Last 16 of the 2012 World Championship.

It was Trump, though, who came out on top in their most recent encounter, prevailing 6-4 in the Semi-Finals of the 2017 Players Championship.

Their latest encounter gets underway from 1pm GMT for a total of eight frames and will resume from 7pm to a climax over the best of 19 frames.