Jealousy is hardly the greatest human trait. But success often leads to fame and fortune. Just ask Judd Trump.
The ‘Juddernaut’ has taken the sport by storm over the last two years having powered to three ranking titles and reached a string of finals.
But the 23-year-old’s rise to fame, which has seen him pocket close to £1million in prize-money and lucrative sponsorship deals, has not been to the liking of some of his fellow professionals.
And so the Bristol potter is determined to let his snooker do his talking here at this year’s Betfair.com World Championship.
“I feel as though some people don’t like the limelight I get,” said Trump.
“Some players say things about me, but it’s the only way they can get some limelight. I just let my snooker do the talking.”
Former world champion Neil Robertson accused Trump of being “fake”, while other critics have privately voiced their concerns that the left-hander has become too big for his boots after his breakthrough success in reaching the 2011 world final.
Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, suggested Trump’s over-confidence this season has increased the pressure to be successful.
“Having that air about you that you will win and it is just a question of turning up, then that can put undue pressure on yourself,” said Murphy.
“I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that over the last few years, but he’s had massive success over the last few years and ripped through the field at times. The way he scores it can be a like a knife through butter.”
But Trump, who faces Murphy in the Crucible quarter-finals tomorrow, is determined to silence his rivals and win the world title for the first time.
“Shaun’s got his own opinions, but I’m just concentrating on my own game,” added Trump. “Shaun doesn’t know me so he wouldn’t know what I do. I just go in with the same attitude towards every tournament. Whatever tournament I enter I’m fully prepared to win.
Ding Junhui produced a stunning comeback to keep his world title-hopes alive
Sheffield-based Chinese cueman Junhui, a former Masters and UK champion, resumed 6-2 down to Mark King after the opening session of their second round match.
But the world No 9 hit back with runs of 59, 98, 74, 81 and 103 in battling back to lead 9-7 lead.
And defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan survived a spirited fightback from Ali Carter in establishing a 9-7 lead ahead of today’s final session of their last 16 clash.
With five former world champions having already fallen by the wayside, O’Sullivan will undoubtedly fancy his chance of becoming the first player since Stephen Hendry, in 1996, to make a successful Crucible title-defence.
O’Sullivan started with an 86 break to extend his lead, but Carter hit back with runs 73 and 87. But a fine 105 break – O’Sullivan’s third century of the tournament – saw him edged 7-5 ahead at the interval.
A confident Carter rallied following the resumption and pocketed breaks of 63 and 46 to level matters. But O’Sullivan, who had looked decidedly shaky during the afternoon, held his nerve to restore a two-frame lead thanks to breaks of 73 and 86.
Latest scores: Ronnie O’Sullivan leads Ali Carter 9-7, Ding Junhui leads Mark King 9-7.
Today’s second round matches (best of 25 frames): 1pm – Mark Davis v Stuart Bingham, King v Ding; 7pm – O’Sullivan v Carter, Ricky Walden v Robert Milkins – all matches play to a finish.