Trump could take some Stopping in York

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Judd Trump is among the star names set to compete for the title when the 44th UK Championships begins on Tuesday back in York.

Judd Trump

The 44th UK Championships begins on Tuesday back in York, after a year’s sabbatical in which it was played behind closed doors in Milton Keynes.

Neil Robertson took last year’s event, beating Judd Trump 10-9 in the final. A total of 128 players embark on this year’s tournament, looking to secure the first Triple Crown event of the 2021/22 season.

Cream rises to the top

This is an event in which the fancied players often shine. In the last ten years, the winners have been John Higgins, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Robertson.

The only real surprise in that time was Ding Junhui, a pre-tournament 50/1 shot, winning in 2019.

Five players are single figure prices for this year’s event and they have all won this tournament in the last ten years. Trump is 10/3 favourite, with Selby 9/2, Robertson is 5/1 to follow up and the veterans O’Sullivan and Higgins are 11/2 and 8/1 respectively.

Trump worthy favourite

Fresh off the back of winning his first ever Champion of Champions tournament, Judd Trump is undoubtedly a worthy favourite after being narrowly beaten in the final last year.

The Bristolian took this competition in 2011 and dropped just five frames all tournament in his Champion of Champions victory, winning 26 of his own along the way. 

A pair of 6-0 wins over Ryan Day and Kyren Wilson was followed by a comfortable 10-4 victory over Higgins in the final and it’s hard to look past ‘The Juddernaut’ in such imperious form.

The other contenders

Reigning champion Robertson is an obvious candidate to follow up in this year’s event, particularly given his draw.

The Australian’s status as number one seed means the next highest seeded player in his section is 16 seed Anthony McGill, and they would avoid each other until the last 16. 

Selby has a similarly easy passage as number two seed, with Jack Lisowski the biggest danger in his section. 

O’Sullivan will have to overcome a section containing Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham if he is to make it to the business end of the tournament but ‘The Rocket’ has won this event seven times before. 

Higgins played well at the Champion of Champions but disappointed in his collapses in the finals of the Northern Ireland Open and English Open respectively. 

Yan can be an outsider to follow

Yan Bingtao was edged out 6-5 by Higgins in the semi-final of the recent Champion of Champions after beating seeds Shaun Murphy and Selby to get to that point.

The Chinese prodigy won January’s Masters – his first ever Triple Crown event title – and reached the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Open last month so is clearly in good nick.

The 21-year-old was tipped by Judd Trump earlier in the year as the player most likely to dominate the sport in years to come and he is worth keeping on side at 25/1 here.

All odds correct at time of writing

A sports journalist for over 15 years, Aidan has been part of written and audio coverage on a wide-ranging number of events. Having played and coached at amateur level, he offers in-depth insight and opinion into the world of football in particular.

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