Judd Trump is taking plenty of positives from his run to the World Snooker Championship final this year and now wants the world number one spot back from Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Trump was beaten 18-13 by O’Sullivan in the showpiece in Sheffield as the Rocket equaled Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles and denied the Ace his second Crucible crown.
However, it was still a good end to the season for the Bristolian, who was not enjoying his snooker at times, despite winning the Champion of Champions and Turkish Masters.
Wins over Hossein Vafaei, Anthony McGill, Stuart Bingham and an epic deciding frame victory over Mark Williams took him to the final and the 32-year-old is now feeling good as a result heading into the new season.
‘I was disappointed to lose, of course, but I was genuinely happy to just get to the final,’ Trump told The Sportsman. ‘Beating Mark Williams in the semi-final took so much out of me, I was just drained by the time I got to the first session against Ronnie.
‘I was always chasing the match, but I started to feel better on the second day and I knew that if I got a chance I could still win, but Ronnie was just awesome.
‘But given how tired I was – and how I hadn’t played well for a while – finding some form in Sheffield and getting to the final gave me a real confidence boost.’
Trump has enjoyed four spells at the summit of the world rankings and climbing back from number two to top spot is his aim for the season to come.
He is not far behind O’Sullivan on the money list and will have his first chance to usurp the Rocket at next week’s European Masters in Furth, Germany (16-21 August).
There will be plenty of chances for Trump to leapfrog O’Sullivan in the rankings this season, but he is aiming to do it in style at the climax of the campaign, when they return to South Yorkshire.
‘I’m still very motivated and I’d like to get back to world number one, that gives you that extra bit of confidence. But that’s probably only going to happen if you win the World Championship,’ he said.
‘The ranking system is such a way now that whoever wins the World Championship is going to be number one so that’s my aim.’
Trump has a tough first round assignment in Furth against Thai star Noppon Saengkham, while the world champ takes on his namesake Sean O’Sullivan.
£80,000 is on offer for the winner in Germany, in the event which was remarkably won by Fan Zhengyi last season, with the young Chinese upstart beating the Rocket to lift the title against the odds.
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