/ Snooker

Trump warns best is still to come

Updated: Tuesday, 13 Dec 2011 09:21

Judd Trump - "I'm looking forward to the World Championship but there's a long way until then. I've still got a lot of improving to do"
Judd Trump - "I'm looking forward to the World Championship but there's a long way until then. I've still got a lot of improving to do"

Judd Trump sounded an ominous warning to his rivals by insisting he planned to get even better after being crowned UK champion on Sunday night.

Trump secured the biggest title of his life over the weekend with a 10-8 victory over Northern Ireland's Mark Allen, despite claiming he had only played in third gear during his week at the York Barbican Centre.

Now the 22-year-old from Bristol wants to gather trophy after trophy, with the Masters and World Championship titles firmly in his sights for 2012, and has promised he will be a better player by the time he heads to the Crucible in April.

"The Masters has always been a great tournament and I've only ever played in it once, so it's nice to be back in it and not having to qualify for it," he said.

"I'm looking forward to the World Championship but there's a long way until then. I've still got a lot of improving to do.

"Winning the UK is obviously a brilliant confidence boost but the World Championship is a longer format and you've got to play brilliantly for two whole weeks. To keep that up is quite tiring. I'm obviously excited about the rest of the season."

Trump, who began the season as an unfulfilled talent ranked well outside the top 16, has jumped to fifth in the world rankings and is seemingly on an inexorable climb towards the top step.

This year's World Championship runner-up is targeting greater success in the next 12 months, starting at Alexandra Palace - the new home for the Masters - in January to silence any remaining doubters.

"A few players I've beaten in York have criticised me but they all know my weaknesses and my strengths and if they still can't beat me like that, when I'm not playing great, then if I start playing well hopefully I'll beat them easier," Trump said.

"Before this tournament I said no one could really dominate the game, but playing this week has probably changed my mind.

"Having not played great all week and still pulled off the wins I have, it's just going to bring more confidence.

"A few of the players are getting on a bit now and I think there's big gaps for younger players like myself and maybe others to come through."

Trump knocked out Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round, leaving the former world number one in severe danger of dropping out of the world's top 16 and having to go through qualifying for the World Championship.

The swashbuckling left-hander added the scalp of another former world champion, Neil Robertson, in the semi-finals, before a hard-fought victory over Allen handed him the title.