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Snooker World Championship: Crucible Final Preview

01 May 2022 07:20:58 EST
Judd Trump faces the ultimate test of trying to defeat Ronnie O'Sullivan

The World Snooker Championship reaches its conclusion this Bank Holiday with world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan chasing a record-equalling seventh title at the expense of Judd Trump.

The Rocket can move level with Stephen Hendry on seven world titles with victory and he is 2.00 to do so, with Trump 2.00 to claim his second victory in the Sheffield showpiece.

O'Sullivan claimed his last world title in 2020 with a commanding 18-8 final victory over Kyren Wilson, but trails Trump 15-14 in their head-to-head battle, so can't take his challenge for granted.

Rocket bidding to equal Hendry mark

Ronnie can join Hendry on seven world titles by beating Trump and he must be confident of the challenge ahead after the manner of his earlier victories.

O'Sullivan overcame Dave Gilbert 10-5 in his opening game, having trailed 3-0, and he hasn't looked back since.

The Rocket made light work of Mark Allen 13-4 and followed that up with an equally impressive 13-5 win over Stephen Maguire.

The 46-year-old defeated old foe John Higgins 17-11 in his semi-final battle, making five centuries and taking his ton total for the tournament to ten.

Ronnie has yet to be tested at these World Championships and, while Trump should give him a stern examination, confidence is sky-high.

O'Sullivan was a 6-3 winner over Trump in their last meeting at the Players Championship in February and, although this best-of-35 format requires more, it is a challenge he should be confident of passing.

The Rocket made 17 breaks of over 50 in his 17-11 win over Higgins and reproduction of that scoring prowess would make him difficult to beat.

Ronnie has won all four of his matches by at least five frames and he is 1.83 to concede a 1.5-frame headstart, while it is 2.37 that the contest passes 32 frames.

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Trump aiming to ground the Rocket

Judd Trump upset one member of the Class of 92 in Mark Williams as he edged the Welshman out in a deciding frame in his semi-final battle and he will be happy with how his game is developing.

The Juddernaut's 17-16 winner over Williams not only showed how his form was improving, but he illustrated his bottle as he trailed 16-15 having dominated the opening session 7-1.

Trump didn't shy away from the challenge against Williams and certainly didn't wilt at the finish line, so shouldn't be judged on the basis of the Welshman's comeback.

The 32-year-old outclassed Higgins 18-9 in the final in 2019 and will be hoping he can repeat the trick against O'Sullivan, who he has beaten in three of his last four meetings.

Trump's deciding frame win over Williams showed his temperament to be in good light, but he has also outclassed Stuart Bingham, Anthony McGill and Hossein Vafaei, so is evidently in a good place.

He may not yet be at his brilliant best, but he is working his way to top form and may be peaking at the perfect time.

At 2.00, he looks a decent betting proposition given the bottle he showed in fending off Williams' fightback, while he is 1.83 to cover a 1.5-frame handicap, which looks tempting given the way he is improving with every match.

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