Masters 2024: Judd Trump beats Kyren Wilson as he begins title defence

Judd Trump
Image caption,Judd Trump’s two Masters titles came in 2019 and 2023

By Steve Sutcliffe

BBC Sport

Mr Q Masters
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 7-14 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; live text coverage of the final on Sunday, 14 January.

Judd Trump came from 3-0 down to win a final-frame decider against Kyren Wilson as he began the defence of his Masters title at Alexandra Palace.

Wilson enjoyed runs of 65 and 76 to establish a healthy lead as Trump struggled to find his rhythm early on.

However, Trump then made breaks of 52, 101 and 83 as he reeled off the next five frames.

Wilson took the next two before the world number two made a 65 clearance to seal a thrilling 6-5 win.

On Tuesday evening, Barry Hawkins beat Neil Robertson 6-3 in a repeat of the 2022 final to set up a quarter-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan on Thursday.

Meanwhile, two-time winner Trump will now face Ali Carter in the last eight on Friday.

Trump’s performance had echoes of 12 months ago, when he battled through the early rounds before claiming his second Masters crown with a 10-8 triumph over Mark Williams.

“It was a strange game – nip and tuck the whole way through,” Trump told BBC Sport.

“I was just fighting not to go 4-0 down. At 5-4, Kyren made an unbelievable clearance to go 5-5.

“I felt quite nervy out there from the start. I couldn’t even chalk my cue at one point [in the final frame]. In that last break, I was on my way home [when Wilson made 51] and he took a little bit of a risk and was unfortunate to leave the gap.

“You would think with my experience you would get over the nerves but coming here, to the World Championship or the UK is a different feeling. You just don’t want to go out in the first round.”

Hawkins victory adds to Robertson’s miserable campaign caption,

Watch: Wasp interrupts Masters snooker match

Australia’s Robertson has largely had a season to forget. His defeat against Hawkins is the latest in a string of first-round exits from tournaments that has left him 88th on the one-year list as he goes through arguably the worst run of his career.

The two-time Masters winner had hoped a first Christmas in his homeland since 2009 would galvanise him but he appeared short of match sharpness against the Englishman, who won the European Masters earlier in the campaign.

Robertson, who averaged more than 40 seconds a shot and had a highest break of 32 in the opening five frames, did produce a wonderfully fluent 117 in the sixth frame.

It fleetingly looked like being a catalyst for a comeback when Robertson followed that up with a fine 115 to get back to 4-3.

Hawkins, who had earlier constructed runs of 54 and 96 to lead 4-1, responded with a timely break of 69 to reopen a two-frame gap at 5-3 and crafted a 57 in a protracted final frame to claim his first win over Robertson in a match of this distance since 2018.

“I haven’t beaten Neil in a long time, so to do so here is really pleasing,” Hawkins said.

“We all know he has been struggling for a bit of form. Coming into the match, there was a bit of pressure so it was nice to get one over on him. He is not full of confidence but he showed signs of coming back at me.

“What an occasion to look forward to [against O’Sullivan]. This is his tournament really, I will need to step it up again.”

Wilson rues missed opportunity

While Wilson was thrashed 6-1 by Trump in the quarter-finals of this tournament two years ago, the manner of this latest defeat will possibly be harder to take.

Having established a commanding position, the 2018 finalist allowed Trump back into the contest and was unable to reassert his authority, with a miss on a tricky red to the bottom-left corner and two poor safety shots on the green in successive frames proving costly.

With the momentum firmly in Trump’s favour, Wilson dug deep to edge a tense ninth frame that prolonged the match, then made a sensational clearance of 58 to set up a thrilling finale.

But an attempt to cut a difficult red into the right middle pocket led to him catching the far jaw and allowed Trump to overturn a 55-0 deficit that left Wilson as a gallant loser.

“I should have hit home a little more at 3-0,” Wilson said.

“I am disappointed not to finish it off. I should have. That is how my season has gone. All year, it has been exactly the same. I just can’t believe I have left the red through the gap and it sums up my season – but every credit to Judd.”

  • Sign up to My Sport to follow snooker news on the BBC app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *