Judd Trump Continues Winning Streak at BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, Eyes Rare Triple Crown

Despite battling fatigue, Judd Trump notched his 17th consecutive win, defeating Noppon Saengkham 4-3 at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open. This victory was part of his ongoing quest to achieve a rare feat in snooker: becoming the first player in a decade to secure three consecutive ranking event titles. Trump has advanced to the quarter-finals in Belfast and is set to face Stephen Maguire on Friday at 7 pm. Having already claimed the BetVictor English Open and Wuhan Open earlier this month, he aims to become the fifth player in snooker history, and the first since Ding Junhui in 2013, to achieve the remarkable feat of winning three consecutive ranking titles.

In a closely contested match, after sharing the first two frames, Thailand’s Saengkham took the lead 2-1 with a break of 85, only for Trump to level the score with a 124. Saengkham, ranked 23rd in the world, regained the lead with a break of 109 and had match-winning opportunities in a fragmented sixth frame. The outcome hung in the balance during a prolonged safety battle on the colors. Trump clinched the frame by potting the brown in a double to a center pocket and added the blue to make it 3-3. Saengkham had one more chance but missed a crucial red to the top corner early in the decider, and Trump capitalized with a break of 92 to secure the win.

Reflecting on his performance, Trump, currently ranked third in the world, expressed, “It’s very tough coming off a couple of long weeks. I don’t know how I’m still going. It’s incredibly draining to play this many games. Every day, I wake up hoping I’m not flat and that I’m still excited. I go out there hoping the crowd will help, and I’m trying to do it for my family, who have always supported me. There’s not much left in the tank, but I’m trying to see out the week and then take a break.”

He added, “This might be the only time I get the chance to win three in a row because it’s hard enough to win one, let alone two, and then be in another quarter-final. I had to dig in tonight, and luckily Noppon missed a couple of crucial balls, and I got my chance in the end. When you’re in the winning habit, it’s easier to make those breaks in the last frame.”

In other matches, Jack Lisowski secured his place in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory over Aaron Hill, marking his 27th ranking quarter-final appearance. Lisowski showcased his skill with runs of 116, 60, 61, and 83 and will face Ricky Walden in the next round.

Stephen Maguire reached his first ranking event quarter-final since the 2022 World Championship by narrowly defeating Joe Perry 4-3. Perry mounted a comeback from 3-1 down, leveling the score at 3-3 with a top run of 123. However, Maguire sealed the decider with a break of 30.

David Gilbert, who had not reached a ranking quarter-final in a year, beat Rory McLeod 4-0 with a top break of 61. He is now set to meet BetVictor European Masters champion Barry Hawkins, who also secured a 4-0 victory over Robbie Williams.

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