The final of the International Championship in Chengdu will see two of the games big guns slog it out as Judd Trump takes on Neil Robertson in search of the title and the top prize of £125.000.
Trump reached the final with a one sided 9-1 victory over Peter Ebdon.This had looked a potentially tricky match for Trump but Ebdon looked strangely nervous early on and never got going.That said you still have to pot the balls and Trump did this with aplomb as he reeled off frame after frame to record an easy win.
This match was also significant for the fact that in victory Judd officially became the new World no.1.When you consider only 18 months ago he had yet to win a ranking title it shows how quickly his star has grown and I will be writing about this in more detail in the coming week..
Judd would no doubt love to top off his week by claiming the trophy but Neil Robertson will have a thing or two to say about that.
Robertson reached the final with a 9-5 victory in a match that never lived up to its potential. It was Murphy who made the early running taking a 3-1 lead but producing the best snooker of the match Robertson took four in a row to lead 5-3 going into the second session.It might have been expected at that stage that both players would come out all guns blazing in the evening but it was not to be the case as both struggled to produce any degree of fluency in their play.As often seems to be the case when players are struggling the balls seemed determined to run as awkwardly as possible and frame after frame became a slog.To the credit of both men they each kept their discipline but it was Robertson who potted the balls when they were needed and it was he who was to be victorious.
On to the final we go then and it does promise to be an extremely interesting and potentially explosive one. These men have had a few tight battles in the past like their semi final encounter in last season UK Championships where Judd won 9-7 but of course the one people will be remember most is their clash in the semi final of The Masters.This was memorable not only for the result (a 6-3 win for Robertson) but also for the comments afterwards which may provide a bit of needle in this one.
Whether or not that is the case the one thing I do believe is that Neil really did do a number on Judd that day and this had a bearing on Judd for the rest of the season.He would go on to lose a number of match's from seemingly winning positions.and It has only been in the last month that he has finally seemed to find his groove again.In Shanghai he lost nothing in defeat to Higgins in the final and this week has looked supreme among the balls,never more so then in his quarter final with Mark Allen.
Robertson on the other hand I'm sure would be the first to admit, has reached the final without playing at his best.,That in many ways though is the measure of the man who has become a match player in the Higgins mode in recent seasons.You practically have to scrape him off the table.That doggedness may will not be enough against Trump and Robertson will know he will have to be playing at his best to deny the World no.1 rounding off the week in style.
Personally I think Judd will have too much for Neil in this one and will crown a memorable week by lifting the trophy and claiming the inaugural International Championship.