Judd Trump said that he “bottled it” after Neil Robertson edged a tense final-frame decider against the world number one to win a third UK Championship title.
The 31-year-old Bristolian had looked odds on to seal the title as he set about the colours in the final frame but uncharacteristically missed a presentable – if not easy – final pink as the pressure ratcheted up at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
The Australian would steal in to sink the pink and seal a third UK Championship success, leaving Trump to rue an opportunity missed.
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“It was an epic battle really,” began Trump.
It is tough to take and I just bottled it in the end – simple as that. I had an easy brown to screw back but I tried to stun it just because I was under pressure and I ended up messing up. The pressure got to me, I would never miss from there normally. It was such a slog that I was just trying too hard.
“It probably made for good viewing but for me it was devastating.”
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Trump, who faces Alexander Ursenbacher at 7pm in the Scottish Open at the same venue on Monday, praised his opponent Robertson, saying:
He is an amazing player, he thoroughly deserved his win.
"It was a very tough game, it always is against him. It is always a battle and it is always fun and it is a match I always get excited by and hopefully I can learn from that.”