Judd Trump has joined Stephen Hendry and John Higgins on Ronnie O’Sullivan’s list of toughest opponents, the Rocket has revealed.
Trump has won five of his last six meetings with O’Sullivan, including the last three Northern Ireland Open finals.
O’Sullivan has been heavily critical of the players coming through, saying the young players are so bad he would "have to lose an arm to fall out of top 50", but he had nothing but praise for the 2019 world champion.
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“He’s at that level where Hendry and Higgins were,” O’Sullivan told the Metro.
“Judd’s definitely in that bracket. I’ve played them all and I’ve always said Hendry and Higgins are the two hardest opponents I’ve had.
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“In terms of snooker ability, their ability to just outplay you and if you don’t play to that level, they don’t drop to your level. They just keep their level very, very high.
“Higgins and Hendry were the only two players I put in that bracket but now definitely Judd is in there. He’s playing to a very, very high standard a lot of the time.”
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Trump has carved his reputation as the world’s best player with exceptional potting, something O’Sullivan reserved special praise for.
“You might be able to play a shot Judd plays, but you’ll be on your limit every time, whereas I think Judd isn’t on his limit,” continued O’Sullivan.
“So he’s playing these shots and you just think ‘wow’ because if you were to do it, nine times out of 10 you’d get it wrong and the odd time you’d get it right.
“Whereas Judd is getting it right eight times out of 10 and the odd time it will go wrong. He has this ability to create spin and power that nobody else can.”
O’Sullivan recently admitted he had "another three or four years maximum of playing top level snooker" and revealed plans for a breakaway circuit for older, talented players who could no longer cope with the rigours of the professional tour but were not ready for the seniors.
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