Judd Trump exits Masters with COVID as Ronnie O’Sullivan puts pressure on world number 1 | Other | sport


Snooker: O’Sullivan seems to forget the rules

Judd Trump is out of the Betfred Masters, the World Snooker Tour has confirmed, with world No. 1 and world No. 14 Jack Lisowski both testing positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the tournament. The duo were pulled out, easing the field for Ronnie O’Sullivan, who only stepped up the pressure on rival Trump on Friday by demanding he win up to 70 ranking titles if he is to realize his potential.

A statement from the World Snooker Tour reads Saturday afternoon: “Trump was scheduled to play David Gilbert in his opener. He was directly replaced by Joe Perry, who will face Gilbert at 7 p.m. Sunday night.
“Lisowski had to face Kyren Wilson, and he was directly replaced by Gary Wilson. The two Wilson’s will face off on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the tournament opener.

“Perry and Gary Wilson were both already at the event as reservists and received negative test results. ”

The tournament – the second of three majors this season – will take place in Milton Keynes instead of London’s Alexandra Palace, which would have hosted up to 1,000 fans per session without the coronavirus pandemic.

The players were tested two days before their first match, with Trump and Lisowski not isolating themselves with support from the WST and the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

Trump said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed to miss the Masters, it’s one of the biggest titles we play for.

Judd Trump exits Masters with COVID as Ronnie O’Sullivan puts pressure on world No.1 (Image: GETTY)

Judd Trump exits Masters with COVID as Ronnie O’Sullivan puts pressure on world No.1 (Image: GETTY)

“I had no symptoms so it was a shock when I found out that I had tested positive – but we’ve all seen what’s going on in the country.

“The main thing now is to properly isolate and recover, and I also want to see my brother Jack take a test to make sure he’s okay. ”

The Masters will be held in a biosphere with UK government coronavirus guidelines strictly followed to prevent an outbreak of positive cases.

All other players and officials participating in the tournament returned negative results, the WST confirmed.

And Trump’s absence will be a blow not only to himself, but also to the Masters in general, given the abilities of the 31-year-old Bristol Potter.

Triple Crown winner with 20 ranking titles, Trump won the German Masters, Players’ Championship, Gibraltar Open, English Open, Northern Irish Open and Grand Prix worldwide in 2020.

But it was the older O’Sullivan, 45, who won the coveted Crucible World Snooker Championship to be crowned the world champion for the sixth time.

The Rocket, ranked No.3 in the world, is a seven-time Masters winner as Trump only won the prestigious competition for the first time in 2019, with Stuart Bingham victorious last season.

And speaking to SportingLife.com, O’Sullivan insisted that Trump – given his age and achievements already – should aim to win 60 or 70 league titles.

O’Sullivan holds a record 37 titles, but believes Trump would be underperforming if he didn’t erase his compatriot’s feat given he is already in 20.

“With the number of tournaments going on today, I think [Judd’s] must be looking for 60 to 70 ranking event titles, ”he said.

When [Stephen] Hendry was doing it and I was doing it, we could have played ten ranking events, but I think Judd is playing 20 ranking events [a season].

Judd Trump exits Masters with COVID as Ronnie O'Sullivan puts pressure on world No.1

Judd Trump exits Masters with COVID as Ronnie O’Sullivan puts pressure on world No.1 (Image: GETTY)

“If Hendry has done 36 ranking events and I have done 37, you probably have to say he has to be looking to at least do 60 or 65.

“If he were to reach 70 or 75 then on a pro rata basis, it would have to be said that it is the greatest record of all time.

“You can only use averages now because there are so many more ranking events than ever before.

“If you only have ten Ranking Events to play, if you win two or three, that was good. Now if you have 20, the new two and three are probably four, five, and six ranking events in a year. .

“The only thing that is constant in snooker is the three majors. You would probably want to try to get to maybe [Steve] Davis, or Hendry level – 15, 16, 17, 18 majors.

“Obviously the icing on the cake would be to beat my record of 20, which he is capable of. ”


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