UK Snooker Championship 2020: Judd Trump to play Neil Robertson in final

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Dates: Sunday, 6 December Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

World number one Judd Trump cruised past China’s Lu Ning 6-2 to set up a mouth-watering UK Championship final against Australia’s Neil Robertson.

England’s Trump, 31, lifted the trophy nine years ago and comes up against Robertson, who won in 2013 and 2015.

Robertson made three superb centuries and two half-centuries in an imperious 6-2 victory over China’s Zhou Yuelong.

Sunday’s best-of-19 final takes place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, with the winner collecting £200,000.

Trump looking for ‘icing on the cake’

Two of the season’s form players will meet in a repeat of October’s English Open final, which Trump won in a deciding frame. His incredible run shows no signs of slowing, with this latest victory extending his winning streak to 14 matches.

As well as that unforgettable encounter, Trump has also claimed the Northern Ireland Open this term and was a beaten finalist at the Championship League.

Much like his performances throughout this tournament, Trump was not fully firing but made crucial frame-winning contributions of 66, 107, 97, 54 and 55, finishing in style with a break of 113.

He was also on for a maximum 147 break in the fourth frame but agonisingly missed the 13th black by dropping it short of the corner pocket.

Trump told BBC Two: “It is nice to get the win but it was hard fought. I did not play brilliantly but scored heavily at times. Hopefully I have saved my best for Sunday.

“I know I have to be at the top of my game from the start and I thrive on that. It has been a while since me and Neil played at the UK. It is nice to be back in a big final and hopefully I can put the icing on the cake.

“Neil has been up there the past season or two, has found his form again and that is driving me to be the best I can be. He is a wonderful scorer, a brilliant long potter and you know your safety has to be perfect and have to score heavily.

“I am very tired now and it is one more push, there are no excuses now and this a massive final for me, I have a great record in finals recently and hopefully I can go one step further and pick up the trophy.”

‘In for a treat’ – analysis

1991 world champion John Parrott on BBC Two:

“All to be revealed tomorrow and we got the final we are looking forward to. The way he bludgeons his way through matches is incredible. He is a tremendous player and in fantastic form.

“He got the ‘W’ and is in the final, he has left some petrol in the tank for what is coming up tomorrow because when these two get together, there is usually not much between them. It will be hard fought and they both fancy their chances against each other.

“We have an absolute treat coming up so if you were thinking bout going Christmas shopping on Sunday leave it until Monday.”

1997 world champion Ken Doherty:

“The two best players of this season coming head to head in a Triple Crown event, it does not get better than that.

“It is a final to relish and look forward to – I cannot wait.”

Another Robertson masterclass

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson won the UK Championship in 2013 and 2015

World number three Robertson signalled a statement of intent by taking apart three-time world champion Mark Selby in the previous round and was at his brilliant best once more to reach his third UK final.

Robertson demolished Zhou 9-0 in the European Masters in January and displayed another masterclass in cue-ball control, compiling majestic breaks of 125, 118 and 104, finishing with 89 to advance.

Robertson told BBC Two: “It was really good. If you told me this morning that I would play like that, I would have taken it. I did not really make any mistakes throughout the whole match and [was] maybe even better than Friday in some areas. You cannot get too far ahead of yourself.

“One of the first stages to be a top player is to get used to winning when you are the heavy favourite. That is something I have been able to do consistently throughout my career.”

Zhou was made to suffer for much of the match but a fluked blue enabled him to take the third frame, and he also made a stunning 141 break in the seventh.

Robertson added: “It is easier said than done but I just try to play like in practice, go for your shots and just be as brave. I think I have done that really well this week. Sometimes I have tried playing too perfect snooker.”

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