Judd Trump Makes Snooker History with Three Consecutive Ranking Title Victories

Judd Trump made snooker history by becoming the fifth player, and the first in a decade, to secure three consecutive ranking titles. He achieved this feat by defeating Chris Wakelin 9-3 in the final of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.

Despite trailing 2-1 early in the match, Trump reaffirmed his status as the top player in the world with an impressive performance, winning eight of the last nine frames. His victory included three centuries and four additional breaks over 50, earning him the top prize of £80,000 and the prestigious Alex Higgins Trophy. Notably, Trump has a perfect record against Wakelin, having won all 12 of their career meetings.

In an extraordinary October, Trump also claimed the BetVictor English Open and Wuhan Open titles, boasting a remarkable winning streak of 20 consecutive matches, which earned him a total of £300,000. The only other players to achieve three consecutive ranking titles are Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, and Ding Junhui, who last did so in 2013. This marked Trump’s fourth Northern Ireland Open victory, having previously claimed the title in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

With this win, the 34-year-old Trump now has 26 career ranking titles, putting him ahead of Mark Williams and second only to the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan (39), Stephen Hendry (36), John Higgins (31), and Steve Davis (28). While he remains third in the official rankings, he has closed the gap on the leader, O’Sullivan, to just £10,000. Trump will be competing in the International Championship in China with the aim of potentially achieving a remarkable four straight ranking titles, which would equal Stephen Hendry’s record of five consecutive titles set in 1990.

As for Chris Wakelin, who played in the biggest match of his career, he started strongly and briefly held a 2-1 lead but struggled to halt Trump’s exceptional performance. While Wakelin missed the opportunity to double his tally of ranking titles after winning the BetVictor Shoot Out in January, his runner-up finish in this tournament elevated him to 21st in the world rankings.

Trump dominated the opening session, securing a commanding 6-2 lead. Despite hopes for a Wakelin comeback from the audience, Trump continued to impress, including runs of 101 and 125 that extended his lead to 8-2.

Although Wakelin fought back in frame 11, with a score of 52, Trump ultimately secured the victory with a match-winning 129, featuring a series of exhibition shots that delighted the crowd.

Reflecting on his recent success, Judd Trump said, “Things have happened so fast over the last three weeks, it feels surreal now and it has not sunk in. The last session tonight was the best I have felt in the whole 20-match run, I felt really sharp.”

Wakelin praised his opponent, saying, “To have the privilege to play in this arena tonight was fantastic.”

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