Jimmy White said Judd Trump would be “devastated” to miss out on the 2021 Masters following a positive Covid-19 test which resulted in him being withdrawn on the eve of the event.
Trump and Jack Lisowski were both forced out of the first Triple Crown event of 2021 after returning positive tests for coronavirus ahead of the event in Milton Keynes, which has become the home of snooker during the pandemic.
They were in the same quarter of the draw, meaning things appear to have opened up for Kyren Wilson, who instead of taking on Lisowski now faces Gary Wilson in Sunday’s opening match. In the evening, Joe Perry deputises for Trump against David Gilbert.
'Crazy!' - Hawkins misses four times before monster fluke leaves Murphy in disbelief
While Ronnie O’Sullivan is the reigning world champion, Trump has been the season’s standout player following his victories at the World Grand Prix, Northern Ireland Open and English Open – but having lost dramatically to Neil Robertson in the final of the UK Championship, White feels he will be “devastated” to miss the chance to challenge for the second Triple Crown event of the 2020-21 season.
Exhausted Robertson lifts trophy and picks up £200,000 prize
Lisowski, too, will miss the chance to build on his impressive run to the World Grand Prix final, where he lost to Trump.
“He will be devastated,” said White on Eurosport. “The way he played in that tournament, he lost to Trump in the final but played some great stuff against Mark Selby. As for Judd Trump, losing the way he lost in the UK Championship, he’ll be trying to win the Triple Crown so he will be devastated as well. I just wish them well.”
Also speaking on Eurosport’s Masters coverage, Neal Foulds said the big double withdrawal would affect the event.
“It’s a real shame, with Jack as well, and it’s not what we wanted to see, especially on day one,” said Foulds. “Judd was such a good player in the first half of the season and hopefully will be back playing again before too long. We’d be kidding ourselves to say it hasn’t affected the tournament, clearly.”
But Trump and Lisowski’s misfortune is an opportunity for Gary Wilson, who as second reserve for the event wasn’t planning on being a part of the Masters until the news came through on Saturday.
“I’ve had to go through it just like everyone else and it’s just the times we are living in at the moment,” Wilson told Rachel Casey.
'Oh what a brilliant shot!' - Kyren Wilson pots stunning long red
When asked if he would ever have imagined getting into the Masters as a result of a Covid test, he said: “Not at all. I obviously thought, one person there was maybe a 50-50 chance because there has been quite a few positives lately in a lot of the tournaments.
“As second reserve though I thought, absolutely no chance. But I was just over the moon when I got told that I was in.”
Kyren Wilson said he wished the absent Trump and Lisowski all the best as he started the 2021 Masters.
“It’s really strange times, the unexpected becomes the expected now," he said on Eurosport. "Firstly I’d like to wish Jack and Judd all the best. It’s obviously not nice with this virus so obviously I hope they recover quickly and get back playing as soon as possible.”
Chalk drama, Ronnie's naughty shots and a laughing fit - Best of the Masters
Will Masters winner Yan become China’s first world champion?