Judd Trump eyeing Potters revenge over Ronnie O’Sullivan
Judd Trump will be seeking Potters revenge this weekend – providing he takes care of his first task at Hopton-on-Sea on Saturday evening.
The 22-year-old snooker starlet and World Championship runner-up in May joins Mark Williams, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ding Junhui for the Premier League Snooker play-offs in Norfolk.
It was in the International Arena two years ago that Trump's only other Premier League involvement ended with a heavy 5-1 semi-final loss to the Rocket – who heads into this weekend looking for an incredible 10th title in the non-ranking event.
So the Bristolian would love another Potters shot at O'Sullivan – although first he will have to take care of Chinese star Ding in his first to five frames semi, while O'Sullivan takes on in-form Welshman Williams.
'Revenge? I hope so...' said Trump, currently world number seven. 'We all really want to win it and obviously Ronnie is going to be favourite. It's going to be hard to beat him but he is beatable – one of us is going to have play really well on the day.
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'But I would definitely enjoy playing him more in the final if I get that far. I would rather play him than anyone else in the final because there is always such a good atmosphere, the crowd really seems to enjoy it when Ronnie is playing and that spurs you on as well.
'It is pretty ridiculous the way he has just dominated the Premier League over the years. It's more or less at will, really – when he wants to win, he'll win.
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'This season as well, he's back interested in the game and he really seems to be enjoying his snooker again. He is really trying and that only makes him even more difficult to beat.
'But the standard is so high nowadays it only takes one frame of playing well to get your confidence up and a lot of the top players can reel off three or four frames in an hour.'
Big crowds have been the norm in the three years Potters has hosted the Premier League play-offs, with room for 1,000 snooker fans on Saturday's semi-final night and for Sunday's final.
'The bigger the crowd the more you raise your game on instinct,' added Trump. 'You want to perform better and nine times out of 10 it tends to be a better game in front of a bigger crowd.'
Trump, now based in Gidea Park on the outskirts of north-east London, was an early qualifier for the Potters play-offs – allowing him to take his foot off the pedal in his final league matches.
However, the youngster plans to be back to his best form this weekend – the kind of form that made everyone take notice at The Crucible this year.
'The Premier League is a fun event to be involved with; after the first couple of weeks I was already more or less through so I could relax and I didn't really perform as well over the last two weeks,' added Trump.
'But this weekend will be good. All four of us will bring our best games and there will be a good atmosphere.
'I feel just as good as last season, if not even better. I feel like I've really improved and I am a lot more confident playing on TV, and I feel I can play my best game in front of the biggest crowds.'
Williams and O'Sullivan meet under this season's reduced 20-second shot clock after Ding and Trump take to the International Arena for the opening semi-final.
Sunday evening then sees the first to seven frames final – an clash O'Sullivan has won six times in the last seven years.
• Tickets are still available for the weekend – call 0845 456 6537 or visit www.pottersholidays.com to book.