Masters 2023: Judd Trump leads 5-3 over Mark Williams in final

Judd Trump
Judd Trump pulled off an epic win against Mark Williams in their previous meeting – the World Championship semi-finals last April
place: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: January 8 – January 15
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with non-stop coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Judd Trump opened up a narrow 5-3 lead over Mark Williams in the opening session of Sunday’s Masters final.

Two-time champion Williams, who last reached the final in 2003, opened with a wonderful break of 138.

Trump, the 2019 winner, made two half-centuries and a century of his own to take a 4-1 lead, then took the final frame of the afternoon with 89 after Williams responded with breaks of 100 and 60.

The match resumes at 19:00 GMT.

At 47, Williams is the oldest Masters finalist since Ray Reardon (50) in 1983, and was tipped by his opponent as the pre-match favorite based on the player’s form during the week.

And the Welshman did not disappoint in the opening frame, slotting a long red from Trump’s break and going on to compile a sublime century.

Trump responded with a fine 61 to win the second frame, then took a poor third in which both players were guilty of missing routine pots.

The Englishman extended his lead from a superb 106 after Williams missed a relatively easy yellow into right center and went three frames on 73 after brilliantly putting in a risky long red that he was initially reluctant to accept.

However, Williams made the most of Trump’s refusal to take the long red ball into the top right corner as he hit back with a century to reduce his surfaces and then win the next.

But a speculative double to right-centre halted the seven-time Triple Crown winner’s hopes of leveling as Trump punished him heavily to take a slim lead into the evening.

Analysis – ‘Trump’s competitive spirit’ shines

Six-time world champion and three-time Masters winner Steve Davis on BBC Two

Judd Trump fans will be delighted with this performance – it looks like he timed his run to perfection.

At the beginning of the tournament you think there is no way someone with low confidence can win the tournament, but if you are in it, you can win it, and he did.

If Judd turned down the red one, where we criticized him, because he lacks confidence in long shots, how amazing would it be to win the tournament? It shows you his competitive spirit – and how smart he is as a player as well.

Both are proven winners so expect neither of them to falter at the finish line. Mark Williams is still in touch, so unless Judd improves his game, Mark will have a chance.

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