Inspired Trump leads Higgins in Crucible final

Snooker
Inspired Trump leads Higgins in Crucible final

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Judd Trump produced a dazzling display to open a 12-5 lead over John Higgins and take total control of the World Championship final at the Crucible.

The players were tied at 4-4 after an incredible first session featuring four centuries and three further breaks of 50 or more.

Higgins started the second session with a ton, but Trump won eight frames in a row, helped by two more century breaks.

The best-of-35 match resumes on Monday at 14:00 BST, live on BBC TV.

Masters champion Trump, who lost to Higgins in the 2011 Crucible final, is looking to win the world title for the first time.

The Englishman, 29, would complete the Triple Crown of winning all of snooker's top three events, having won the UK Championship in 2011, if he can clinch another six frames.

Higgins, runner-up in the last two finals, is aiming to match Ronnie O'Sullivan by claiming a fifth title but the 43-year-old Scot will need to produce a stunning comeback to halt Trump.

The final session will begin at 19:00 BST, with the winner collecting the trophy and a record 500,000 in prize money.

Though Higgins stroked in a 125 break at the start of the second session, Trump took control by winning the 10th frame with a stunning 114 break and then demonstrating his improved tactical game by clinching a 35-minute 11th.

Trump's best pot came in the 10th frame when he powered in a red down the cushion and, with a swish of the cue, managed to screw the cueball back into the baulk area.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry, commentating on BBC Two, called it "the shot of the championship" adding: "He is probably the only player in the game that can produce that sort of shot".

Former champion Ken Doherty said the way Trump hit the shot reminded him of Alex Higgins. "His whole body goes into the shot and his head goes into the air," he said. "It goes against the whole ethos of the coaching manual.

"I could be there for a month of Sundays and never produce a shot like that. He's a great entertainer and a prodigious talent."

The Englishman made further runs of 114, 71, 58 and 70 to open a substantial advantage heading into last day of the tournament.

Six-time world champion Steve Davis said on BBC Two: "It is frightening what Judd Trump can do with the ball. This has been a masterclass. He looks like a world champion in the making."

This year's opening session was described by 1997 champion Doherty as "one of the best ever" - Trump showing his form as a pre-tournament favourite with breaks of 51, 63 and 105.

After his dramatic semi-final win over David Gilbert in a final-frame decider, Higgins criticised the scheduling of the final which takes place over two days with sessions starting at 14:00 and 19:00.

But the Scot seemed to be unaffected as he won three frames in a row including runs of 139, 69 and 101.

The high-scoring continued in the first session's final frame with Trump responding in style with a break of 103 to level the match at 4-4.

"It really is astonishing," said Davis on BBC Two. "You very rarely get two players playing so well at the same time. When it happens it is worth savouring."

A remarkable opening day saw the two players score seven centuries between them.

Here is how the numbers stack up:

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