Judd Trump believes his growing confidence helped him to victory in the UK Championship final. Sunday’s 10-8 win over Mark Allen capped off a remarkable year for the Bristolian who won the China Open and was runner-up at the Crucible.
“It is just confidence really,” the 22-year-old, who rose two places to number five in the world, told BBC Sport. “I’m getting more table time and match practice. I’m more comfortable playing on TV. It’s starting to pay off.”
Trump went into the second session of the best-of-19 final with an 8-3 lead but saw that advantage reduced to 9-8 as Allen fought back with a brilliant break-building display.
“After I lost in the World Championship [final] I was just happy to come to another big event and play well. But to win it in the way I did is a brilliant achievement,” Trump added. “Mark pushed me all the way and it was a good job I had a big lead in the end. It’s probably the best anyone has ever played against me. I was just sat there hoping he would miss but he didn’t. I just had to force a mistake and luckily I took my chance. Hopefully there is more to come.”
Trump collected a winning prize of GBP100,000 which brought his year’s earnings to more than GBP 350,000.
Allen, who earlier in the week criticised World Snooker chief Barry Hearn for changing the format of the event, paid tribute to the new UK champion. “I knew it was going to be hard the way he was playing, Judd was as good as I think I have ever seen anyone,” said the 2010 semi-finalist. “He scores so heavily and so quickly and I didn’t feel I did much wrong but Judd was just a bit too good. I felt really good and I was just hoping for a chance in the last frame but Judd showed just what a good champion he is and I’m sure it is the icing on the cake for him. The crowd has been brilliant all week and I’m obviously disappointed to lose but sometimes you have to say your opponent is the better player and Judd was just that.”