The future of the game is seemingly in safe hands with Judd Trump - especially the new matured version.
Potting hotshot Trump has never been short of confidence, but I remember him when he was a quiet, shy young lad first breaking on to the professional scene.
It took the talented left-hander a long time to break through, with the qualifying system having gobbled up plenty of talented players down the years before they’d had a chance to fully demonstrate their talent. Trump’s talent has never been in doubt though and, as well as potting balls off the lampshades, the 25-year-old now has a sound safety game and - probably most importantly - the mentality to now deliver on the greatest stage.
He didn’t have to get out of first gear to beat debutant Stuart Carrington 10-6 yesterday and he’s looking ominously confident to deliver here in Sheffield.
The Juddernaut sauntered to a 7-2 overnight lead, and staved off the threat of a comeback in the second session by finishing with a classy century to set up a second round showdown with Marco Fu. And the usually bold Trump was surprisingly understated when asked about his chances of claiming the title.
“I just stay quietly confident and go about my business,” he said. “A couple of seasons ago when I got to the semis I was very confident, but I’m not going to give too much away. If I play how I know I can play then I’ll have a good chance. I’m confident of beating anyone.”
First round success looked a formality for Trump with his five-frame cushion, but nerveless newbie Carrington refused to wilt under the bright lights of snooker’s spiritual home, as he knocked in breaks of 97, 74, 70 and 99 claw back at the deficit.
But Trump eased over the, finished with a classy 109 and was full of praise for his opponent.
“Stuart played exceptionally well for someone that’s playing here for the first time,” added Trump.
“I thought he played as well anyone will play in the whole tournament.”
Sporting a shiny pair of £500 Jimmy Choo shoes, Trump is usually the one grabbing the headlines for his dazzling footwear. But the Bristolian questioned rival Ronnie O’Sullivan’s antics as he played a frame without shoes on during his opening match, complaining of sore feet.
“He likes attention, I don’t know whether he did it on purpose or not, who knows?” he added. “We’ve got the same size but I don’t think mine would quite fit his image.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Braveheart Anthony McGill finished all square at 4-4 with defending champion Mark Selby after the opening session of their best-of-25 frame clash, but the debutant missed a good chance to potentially led 5-3.