John Higgins explains ‘what a lot of players don’t realise’ about Judd Trump

Judd Trump has had a superb season so far (Picture: Getty Images)

Judd Trump is well known for his potting and immense break-building, but John Higgins says that few players are aware of what a nightmare they face with Trump in the safety department.

Higgins and Trump have played 50 times in all competitions since they first met back in 2008, with the Scot edging the head-to-head 26-23, with one draw in there.

After all those meetings they know each other very well on the table and Higgins is full of admiration for the Englishman’s game.

‘When I’m playing him he seems to play out of his boots,’ Higgins told Metro.co.uk of Trump. ‘There’s certain little things during matches that only the players realise and you think, “My God, that’s incredible.”

‘He’s stopped me a few times this season when I could maybe have gone on and done something, but playing those elite, elite boys, they don’t give you many second chances if you don’t kill them off, if you don’t take your chance you don’t get a second one.

‘I’ve always said that he can overpower the table, not overpower his opponent, overpower the table with his cue action.

‘It’s incredible some of the shots he can pull off. The whip he can get through the cue ball, he’s also a great all-round player now.’

It is the all-round nature of Trump’s game that Higgins feels has improved a lot, specifically his ability to nail the white to the baulk cushion when playing safe, making things very difficult for his opponent.

‘What a lot of the players don’t realise is his safety game, it’s like bowls,’ said the Wizard of Wishaw. ‘When you see people playing bowls, rolling them to the right length down to the head. The length of his safety play is at a really high level.

‘He very rarely plays into baulk and it’s not near the top cushion. I’ve noticed that for a little while, that his length is really, really good. That’s what he’s brought into his game. Allied to his potting, he’s a hard player to beat.’

Trump gets his Players Championship campaign underway on Monday night against Chris Wakelin, eyeing up his fifth ranking title of the season and the 28th of his career.

Just two of those 27 ranking titles have been Triple Crowns – one World and one UK Championship – which leave some questioning Trump’s place among the all-time greats of the game, but Higgins is not one of those asking questions.

‘No, not for me,’ he said. ‘Other people might say things like that. Everybody’s got their own opinion but not for me.

Hong Kong Masters 2022

Higgins and Trump have had many battles, including two World Championship finals (Picture: Getty Images)

‘What he’s done in the game, his break-building…no, absolutely not for me, he’s right up there near the top of the best players that have picked up a cue. Without a doubt.’

Mark Selby is also well aware of the difficulty of taking on the Ace, losing to Trump at the UK Championship and World Grand Prix this season, and the Jester agrees with the Wizard.

‘I think he’s one of the greats of the game already,’ Selby told Metro.co.uk. ‘He’s already won the Triple Crown, fair enough he’s not won it two, three, four times but he’s won it. He’s won 27 ranking events. For me he’s one of the greats of the game.

Mark Selby and Judd Trump have never met at the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’ve got respect for Judd as a player and a person. He’s a great lad and he’s obviously doing fantastic at the game.

‘Some people see it different. You look at tennis, they judge the greatest players on Grand Slams. Our Grand Slams are the Triple Crowns, so yo ucan judge it on that.

‘Other people judge it on tournaments won. It won’t be long before he’s on 30 and more. He’s still only young. Scary really.’


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