Trump to be king in Haikou
Our snooker expert Jeff Anderson is keen on the chances of Judd Trump in the World Open Snooker in China.
- Related Content
World Open Snooker gets under way in Haikou, China on Monday morning where defending champion Mark Allen is a best-priced 13/1 (youwin) shot.
I was impressed with Judd Trump in Newport last week at the Welsh Open.
There have been questions raised about his recent performances - notably from Clive Everton in Snooker Scene analysing why the world number one may have temporarily lost his way even though in the last five major ranking events he has reached at least the semi-final stage in three of them. This is the form that has seen him back to the top of the rankings.
In Wales he played the most measured snooker I've seen from him on his way to the last four where he went down 6-4 to the eventual winner Stephen Maguire.
On another day it may have been good enough to win and he especially impressed in the quarter-finals where his new approach ensured Pankaj Advani - who himself was looking like a dark horse for the title - didn't really get a look in until it was too late.
With this new focus on the safety aspect of his game this really makes him the complete player. Fellow professionals didn't used to mind too much being drawn against him simply because they knew they would get chances.
However his new approach reminds me of World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Crucible last year, who with every shot just tried to do the best he could - in all aspects of the game and it paid huge dividends.
With this approach Trump will have massive success too. Because he now realises that in the new Barry Hearn era of snooker the standard is so much higher that if you leave your opponent in it's usually more costly than it was a couple of seasons ago.
He should make it past Mark Joyce or the Chinese wild card Noppon Saengkham in his opener even though Joyce beat Trump in a scrappy opening round match at the UK Championship in December.
Ali Carter, his scheduled second round opponent in this third quarter, has withdrawn so he will play Nigel Bond or Zhu Yinghui for a place in the quarter finals.
This is when his big-time experience will kick in and he can lift another title to cement his place at the top of the rankings. The 15/2 outright (youwin) is a steal and should be snapped up.
In the top half of the draw Ding Junhui is worth following again.
Just recently he has slightly faltered when the winning line has approached and his recent record in China clearly doesn't do him justice. He has had a disappointing season to date but is playing the best snooker of his career.
He was one shot away from beating Neil Robertson at the Masters in January and was pipped 6-5 by Stuart Bingham for a place in the final in Newport. The Chinese star is a big danger here and he should be backed each-way as a saver at 14/1 with Betfred.
In the first quarter betting, Marcus Campbell is worth a small punt at the generous 18/1 (Sky Bet).
He reached his only major ranking semi-final at the Wuxi Classic in China this season and although he opens against fellow Scot and Welsh Open winner Maguire he is reasonably drawn thereafter.
Mark Allen is the biggest danger to prevent him from reaching his second major ranking last four spot.
Mark Selby is always a threat but is in the toughest bottom quarter that features Robertson, Barry Hawkins and Graeme Dott - all players capable of grinding their way to a victory if the situation demands it.
When two safety first but highly ranked players oppose each other it's invariably tough, match snooker and it often comes down to the odd roll here or there so we'll leave this section of the draw alone.