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Trump admits season could be halted before he defends world title due to coronavirus crisis

Trump admits season could be halted before he defends world title due to coronavirus crisis

18/03/2020 at 12:58Updated 18/03/2020 at 13:58

Judd Trump is facing up to the prospect that the Gibraltar Open could be the last event of the season due to the rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic.

The world champion and world number one chose his words carefully speaking to World Snooker Tour during the Gibraltar Open, but did not strike an optimistic tone.

The elite eight-man Tour Championship – where Trump starts as favourite at the top of the one-year ranking list - is due to begin in Llandudno on Tuesday with the World Championship at the Crucible Theatre pencilled in for April 18-May 4.

But with Premier League and Scottish Premiership football cancelled and Six Nations rugby postponed this weekend, the health crisis could deny Trump the chance to defend his title next month.

“It’s always a nice place to come,” said Trump, who went on to overcome Kyren Wilson 4-3 in a high-quality Gibraltar Open final on Sunday evening. “It’s obviously difficult circumstances at the moment.

"Everyone is in the same position, and everybody is trying to grab a win before who knows what will happen."

The China Open in Beijing was due to be played later this month, but has already been cancelled due to the outbreak.

Video - Watch the moment Trump wins Gibraltar Open to make snooker history

03:06

The Gibraltar Open was initially due to be played in front of 100 fans, but became a closed doors event on Saturday with neighbours Spain heading for lockdown after declaring a state of national emergency with the death toll at 191 and thousands battling the illness.

Trump has moved onto 97 centuries for the season with seven tons in Gibraltar, but admits beating Neil Robertson’s record tally of 103 centuries from 2013/14 could be beyond him.

"It’s going to be difficult. I obviously don’t how many matches I’ve got left or tournaments I’ve got left. It might be out of my hands already."

Trump victory in Sunday evening's final means he becomes the first player in history to win six ranking events. And in doing so he earned a £150,000 bonus as well as the £50,000 first prize for claiming the trophy.

Video - Trump raises the Gibraltar Open trophy to an imaginary crowd

01:03

The Gibraltar Open courted attention for its decision to defy the coronavirus outbreak that has wiped out most of the sporting calendar. Seven referees were unable to get to the tournament after their flights were cancelled, leading to bizarre scenes on some tables as players re-spotted the balls in their own matches.

Robertson and several leading players including Ali Carter, David Gilbert, Stephen Maguire, Graeme Dott and Jimmy White body swerved the event amid the outbreak.

Gibraltar Open final (best of seven frames)

  • Judd Trump 4-3 Kyren Wilson

Video - Watch Trump's classy 144 clearance in the Gibraltar Open Final

09:32

Gibraltar Open semi-finals (best of seven frames)

  • Judd Trump 4-3 Xiao Gudong
  • Kyren Wilson 4-0 Mark Williams

Gibraltar Open quarter-finals

  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 0-4 Kyren Wilson
  • David Grace 1-4 Mark Williams
  • Jimmy Robertson 3-4 Xiao Guodong
  • Liang Wenbo 1-4 Judd Trump

Gibraltar Open last 16 results

  • Ben Woollaston 2-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Fergal O'Brien 3-4 Kyren Wilson
  • Lyu Haotian 1-4 David Grace
  • Tian Pengfei 3-4 Mark Williams
  • Rory McLeod 1-4 Jimmy Robertson
  • Tom Ford 2-4 Xiao Guodong
  • Ashley Hugill 2-4 Liang Wenbo
  • Li Hang 1-4 Judd Trump

Gibraltar Open last 32

  • Stuart Bingham 0-4 Ben Woollaston
  • Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-0 Harvey Chandler
  • Fergal O'Brien 4-2 Chen Zifan
  • Luca Brecel 0-4 Kyren Wilson
  • Mark Selby 1-4 Lyu Haotian
  • Oliver Lines 1-4 David Grace
  • Scott Donaldson 2-4 Tian Pengfei
  • Martin Gould 1-4 Mark Williams
  • Rory McLeod 4-1 Elliot Slessor
  • Joe Perry 3-4 Jimmy Robertson
  • Tom Ford 4-2 Jack Lisowski
  • Xiao Guodong 4-1 Lun Ning
  • Michael Holt 1-4 Ashley Hugill
  • Liang Wenbo 4-1 Zhao Xintong
  • Mark Joyce 3-4 Li Hang
  • Martin O'Donnell 1-4 Judd Trump