Judd Trump profited from an enormous fluke as he slashed Ronnie O’Sullivan’s lead to three frames ahead of the concluding session of the World Championship final.
Returning 12-5 behind and needing to win at least three frames just to force an evening session, the 2019 champion hit his best form of the match as he claimed five of the opening seven frames on Monday.
His dreams hung on the deciding frame of the third session – win it and it would be 14-11, lose it and O’Sullivan would be three from the trophy at 15-10.
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And so, another wild chapter in an extraordinary match unfolded.
After O’Sullivan had a big slice of luck when he cannoned favourably off the pink after missing a long red, Trump was left lining up a long-distance effort of his own.
Trump’s effort missed the pocket by some distance, sending the white careering into a cluster of reds. The white came to a halt in the perfect location for O’Sullivan to swoop in and clean up. Except there was another red still rolling towards the middle pocket…
“Oh wait for it,” came the cry from Joe Johnson in the Eurosport commentary box.
The red caught the bottom jaw, trundled into the top jaw, and then dropped in. Cue bedlam in the Crucible.
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“Wow,” continued Johnson. “And he’s on the pink!
“That is incredible isn’t it. Well as certain as you can be, that should have been 15-10.
“How important is that going to be for the whole championship? We may well look back on that shot this evening and say that’s where it turned.”
Trump’s cold gaze hid the monster slice of good fortune that had gone his way as O’Sullivan ruefully fidgeted in his chair. Trump seized the opportunity to make a fine 105 break and head back to his hotel in the knowledge the comeback was truly alive.
In the Eurosport studio, Alan McManus heaped praise on Trump’s “ruthless” response to the fluke.
“It’s massive,” he said.
“You miss the pot badly [so] the cue ball will not get the sanctuary of baulk… somehow or other, the red goes in.
“The other good thing I like about Judd here, there was no guilt. None of it. You can’t have that. You’ve got to be ruthless and that’s what it was.
“He took them [the balls] nicely. You’ve got to do that, be ruthless, and he was.”
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