World Champion and world number one Judd Trump will head to China next week hoping to break his Shanghai Masters duck.
The Ace in the Pack has been runner-up in three Shanghai Masters finals, including agonising 10-9 losses to John Higgins in 2012 and Kyren Wilson in 2015.
Following a stunning maiden World Championship win back in May, Trump followed that up by taking home the title in his first event of this season at the International Championship. We caught up with him to preview his trip to Shanghai…
Judd, in the process of your victory in Daqing at the International Championship you also returned to the world number one position. How will it feel to walk out in Shanghai with that accolade to your name?
“It is a good feeling and it will be nice to be announced as world number one in Shanghai. To be world number one and World Champion at the same time is a different feeling. It is a different sense of achievement as you walk out into the arena before a game. There is a bit of pride there. You have to carry that well and really try your hardest in every single tournament. I think that last season was very good for me and I just need to keep winning. “
Do you think being both World Champion and world number one adds any pressure to get results?
“No I don’t really take any notice of that sort of thing when I am out there in the arena. I could be ranked 100th in the world and it wouldn’t change my approach. You just have to go into every game hoping for the best. Shanghai is such a tough event now. All of the best players in the world are there, so it would be very easy to lose in the first round.”
How much of an added incentive is there to be successful in Shanghai now it is a smaller 24-player field and the most lucrative invitational in snooker?
“I think it makes it a little bit more prestigious. My results in Shanghai normally see me either lose in the first match or get to the final and lose. Even though I haven’t won there yet, it is a tournament that I like very much. Hopefully one day I can get that win there. I actually hadn’t won in China for a long time before my recent title in Daqing. At the start of my career nearly all of my wins were in China and now it is the opposite. I just hope that I can carry that confidence from Daqing over to Shanghai.”
We have seen on Instagram that you have been celebrating your World Championship victory with holidays to places like Las Vegas and Ibiza. However, do you think that your social media presence can at times mask to the public just how hard you are working on the table to prepare for events?
“Yeah, I think people sometimes can get a bit mistaken, because I don’t really post anything about the work I am doing when practising. A lot of people think that since the World Championship I haven’t been working hard, but that isn’t the case. The only pictures that I put up tend to be when I am on holiday. The rest of the time I am practising six to eight hours every single day. I don’t take weekends off or anything like that, it is just non stop. That’s why I think I have started the season so well. Even though Daqing was my first tournament of the season, I had been practising with my brother a month beforehand and I was preparing as if it was the World Championship.”