Trump secures place in World Championship final

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Judd Trump shattered Chinese dreams as he became the youngest finalist this century at the World Championship.

The 21-year-old, who came through qualifying to reach the first round, came from 15-14 behind to beat Ding Junhui 17-15 in one of the great Crucible semi-finals, finishing off with a 105 break.

His victory sets up a final against John Higgins or Mark Williams, starting tomorrow.

Trump won the China Open at the start of the month, but is now just one win away from landing the sport’s greatest prize.

Stephen Hendry said on BBC2: “He’s playing with the composure like he’s been there for years.

“He seems to have come from nowhere almost. I’ve got goosebumps. He must be so thrilled.

“At 21, to get to the final, as I did as well, it’s an incredible feeling and he must be loving it.”

Trump made a tremendous start to the session, rifling in a long red at high pace to begin a break of 74 which was enough to secure the opening frame, and he went 14-12 ahead thanks to 89 in the next.

That made him favourite, but Ding replied superbly. It was Trump who had the opening chance of the 27th frame, and he potted the first red. However he talked himself into taking on a black which was partially hidden by another red, and as he attempted a swerve shot he struck that very red, giving away seven points and putting Ding in.

It was to prove a costly mistake, with Ding rattling in 138, matching the highest break of this year’s tournament, set by Mark King against Graeme Dott in the first round. Unless that is bettered, Ding and King will share £10,000.

Trump, watched by parents Steve and Georgina and brother Jack, began the fourth frame of the afternoon strongly with a 51 break, but he went against his usual instincts by turning down a slightly awkward black and playing safe.

Ding came back into the frame and won it with a remarkable clearance of 47, adroitly manoeuvring his path through the remaining reds and then expertly nudging the yellow along the cushion to make it available before kissing the brown away from the opposite cushion.

“Ouch!!” Trump wrote on Twitter in the interval.

Those judgement calls on the black might have been on his mind, and soon he had more to worry about when he left Ding the chance of a long starting red.

In it went and the Chinese capitalised with another century, 119.

The 24-year-old from Wuxi led 48-0 in the next frame too but lost positioning, and Trump came back to win it, finishing off with a run from yellow to pink after laying a good safety which caused Ding to leave him a chance.

A rerack was required in frame 31, and at the second time of asking Ding tore 27-0 ahead. But he missed an easy red, Trump made a 68 break, laid two good snookers from which Ding failed to escape, and Trump suddenly led 16-15.

He finished in spectacular style, ramming in some spectacular pots in a magnificent century.