Tremendous Judd Trump claims maiden Champion of Champions crown
Judd Trump stormed to the 2021 Champion of Champions title after a commanding 10-4 victory over John Higgins in the final.
Despite losing the opening three frames, Trump claimed 10 of the next 11 with breaks of 74, 68, 63, 62 and 61 on the way to pocketing the top prize of £150,000.
A two-time losing finalist in the popular invitational event, the Ace made it third time lucky at the Bolton Whites Hotel while maintaining his dominant record over Higgins with a 10th straight win.
The four-time World champion suffered a disappointing ending for the third event running, having also fallen at the final hurdle at the Northern Ireland Open and English Open.
Despite a late finish to his epic semi-final victory over Yan Bingtao just over 12 hours earlier, the Scotsman made the ideal start in his second Champion of Champions showpiece.
Indeed the 2016 winner, who survived match ball in his opening match of the week against Ding Junhui, outscored his opponent 186-0 in the opening two frames with a top break of 73, before a neat 34 clearance put him 3-0 to the good.
That put a firm end to Trump’s run of 16 successive frames that included 6-0 whitewashes of Ryan Day and Kyren Wilson along the way.
Nevertheless, the pendulum swung in favour of the Ace, who finally settled into his rhythm with runs of 63, 62 and 61 as he won the next five frames.
Although, Higgins stopped the rot in the final frame of the afternoon with 70 to leave the showpiece finely poised heading into the evening.
But it was very much one-way traffic upon the resumption of play; Trump making a break of 74 as he took the opening two frames.
He then produced a neat 51 clearance to move 8-4 up on the brown, while runs of 44 and 68 put him on the brink of that maiden title.
And the 22-time ranking event winner sealed the deal immediately after the interval; a run of 59 more than enough to get him over the line.
“It’s an amazing achievement for me. I’ve come close a lot of times and taken some tough losses in the final,” Trump told Live Snooker.
“It was looking that way at 3-0 down, but to beat a player as good as John in that manner, you’ve got to be happy with.
“I managed to only lose a handful of frames in the whole event against some real quality opposition, so I’ve got to hold my head up high and it’s nice to tick off another big event.
“I was fearing the worst at 3-0 down, but just managed to turn it around and gain some confidence and shut him out. I played some real good matchplay snooker, some good safety and kept him under pressure the whole way through.
“This is up there as one of the best [tournament wins] because of what’s happened over the last couple of years. It’s my first one back with a crowd and it just makes such a huge difference.
“I won a lot of events behind closed doors and even though they mean a lot, I think this one just ranks above all of them.”