Judd Trump does not agree with Ronnie O’Sullivan’s assessment that snooker’s lesser lights are not of the required standard to compete.
Six-time world champion O’Sullivan put the boot into players further down the ranking list, saying that those coming through are not that good.
Speaking during the World Championship, O’Sullivan said: “People like me, John Higgins and Mark Williams, if you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really. Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, not even amateurs. They are so bad.
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“A lot of them you see now, you look at them and think, ‘I would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50’. That is why we are still hovering around, because of how poor it is down that end.”
O’Sullivan’s comments sent social media into a frenzy, whether they were tongue in cheek or not.
Trump, the runaway world number one, was asked for his views on O’Sullivan’s comments and was not of the same mindset.
“I think there is a good standard,” Trump told Sporting Life. “Anyone in the top 100 is very dangerous on their day, and I didn’t agree at all with what he [Ronnie] said.
The standard is as high as ever. Any player on their day can beat you, whereas if you look at other sports, the top players breeze through the early rounds, but snooker isn’t really like that. The competition is so fierce nowadays."
The new snooker season is on the horizon, and it is likely Trump and O’Sullivan will command major attention.
Trump has an excellent record against O’Sullivan, and has won their three most recent meetings.
O’Sullivan can be an intimidating figure to play against, but Trump relishes the occasions and is hoping to lock horns with his great rival in the new season.
“My record is pretty good against Ronnie,” Trump said. “Whenever there is a crowd in town – it hasn’t been the same for the last 18 months – you want to play Ronnie because the atmosphere is different class and everyone gets behind him. For me, that spurs me on to go out there and shine and take away his fans.
If you’re playing any other player, you just play your own game, but when you’re playing him, it’s like you’re playing in his show. He really feels like he owns the table and it can be quite difficult to play against.
“His mannerisms and everything, he's quite in your face; it’s not like a game of snooker, there’s a bit of argy-bargy and mind games going on at the same time. It’s a massive match-up."
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