2024 Players Championship: Trump Dumps Wakelin in the First Round

Snooker's triumphant return to Telford witnessed a thrilling showdown between Judd Trump and Chris Wakelin at the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship. Despite Wakelin's early brilliance, Trump's dominant performance saw him secure a commanding 6-2 victory, showcasing his prowess on the table and advancing to the next stage of the tournament.

Two snooker players shaking hands
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Wade McElwain

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-02-19

6 minutes read

Snooker Returns to Telford

Snooker enthusiasts witnessed the long-awaited return of the sport to Telford, marking a significant moment as Judd Trump embarked on his journey to clinch victory at the 2024 Johnstone's Paint Players Championship. Telford hadn't hosted professional snooker since 2010, a memorable event remembered for the intense UK Championships final where John Higgins triumphed over Mark Williams in a thrilling encounter. 

 

In this rejuvenated setting, Chris Wakelin found himself facing off against Judd Trump, a daunting task compounded by Wakelin's track record, having faced defeat in his last 12 encounters against Trump, the current frontrunner of the one-year list for the 2023/24 season.

Wakelin Gets Rolling

In a swift start to the first frame, after a momentary re-rack, Wakelin wasted no time asserting his dominance, capitalising on a slip-up from Trump. With precision and finesse, Wakelin took charge of the frame, showcasing his skill with a remarkable century break of 120 to open up the 2024 Players Championship.

 

Wakelin maintained his momentum as the second frame commenced, initiating with a composed 35 break, showcasing his adeptness on the table. However, a momentary lapse in concentration led to a costly error, conceding four points to Trump and offering him an opportunity to counter. Trump profited on this opening, swiftly amassing a comfortable 30-point lead in the frame. 

 

Despite a lapse in safety from Trump, the Nuneaton cueist opted against a risky shot towards the green, only to falter when faced with a difficult pot after an accidental snooker. This misstep allowed Trump to jump at the chance, potting the final red and ultimately sealing the second frame, levelling the score in the closely contested encounter.

Trump Takes Command

As the third frame unfolded, Wakelin approached his shots with caution, opting for safety play with two reds remaining on the table as Trump lead by 41 points early on. Despite his efforts, the odds were stacked against him, and his hopes of a comeback dwindled when he failed to take advantage on a snookering opportunity, leading to Trump's subsequent potting of another red. 

 

With his opponent tightening the grip on the frame, Trump executed a skilful snooker behind the black, further complicating Wakelin's position. In a desperate attempt to turn the tide, Wakelin sought to escape the snooker with two consecutive attempts, yet both fell short. Faced with mounting pressure and a deficit too large to surmount, Wakelin ultimately conceded the frame to Trump, who solidified a 2-1 in the match.

 

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Evenly Matched Heading to the Interval

In a frame characterised by a lacklustre performance from both players, Wakelin managed to assert his dominance and level the game. Despite struggling with his cueing, Wakelin found solace in the fact that his opponent, Judd, was also experiencing difficulties. A crucial moment came late in the frame when Wakelin skilfully potted a long pink, securing a 44-point lead and effectively sealing off the frame in his favour, allowing him to draw the match back to a level playing field.

Judd Asserts Authority on the Table

Wakelin initially seized control at the onset of the fifth frame after the break, establishing an early lead. However, Trump swiftly mounted a comeback, gradually narrowing the gap and reasserting himself in the match.

 

A stroke of luck came Wakelin's way with a remarkable fluke shot on the yellow, setting up a promising opportunity to clear the remaining colours. Despite this fortunate break, Wakelin faltered on a challenging brown shot, albeit later managing to snooker Trump twice during play on the blue. Yet, despite Wakelin's efforts, it proved insufficient to clinch the frame, as a critical miscue on the blue allowed Trump to clear the table and take a 3-2 lead. 

 

This marked the beginning of Trump's domination as he swiftly took control of the sixth frame, amassing a total of 96 points in rapid succession. This included a commanding break of 48, which saw Trump go two frames ahead in the race to six. 

Top Trump into the Last 8

Trump continued to showcase his dominance on the table, solidifying his lead with a commanding break of 67, advancing to a 5-2 advantage. Building on this momentum, he delivered an extraordinary century break of 139, swiftly concluding the match with a resounding 6-2 victory. 

 

Looking ahead, Trump now awaits the outcome of the match between Tom Ford and Ali Carter to determine his next opponent in the tournament.

 

Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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