Judd Trump’s fresh dig at Ronnie O’Sullivan after closing on record
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Ronnie O'Sullivan explains why he made a 146 in 2016

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Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan may be looking over his shoulder after rival Judd Trump edged closer to matching his all-time record of 15 maximum breaks on Tuesday. The 33-year-old mauled Michael Mann 4-0 and got off to the brightest of starts when he cleaned up a 147 in the opening frame.

He’s still some way from tying O’Sullivan, who was criticised for not shaking his opponent’s hand when Trump recorded his last maximum in their Champion of Champions decider earlier in November. And ‘The Rocket’ gave Trump the same stoic treatment when they were sat in the studio following his latest win in Edinburgh.

“It’s always pleasing to make the maximum in any event. That is the third one in the calendar year, and two in the space of a month,” said Trump following his latest feat. “Mitchell is someone I have grown up playing against, there is a lot of respect there. He was pleased for me to get it, and it’s always special.

“I didn’t get anything out of Ronnie again…I mean, he was up in the Eurosport box, so I don’t know if he was wanting me to make it or miss it! It’s pleasing to know I can keep doing it. It’s tricky, a lot of top professionals don’t ever make one. To make two in this season and three in a calendar year, there can only be a handful to do that.”

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Trump has made it to at least the quarter-finals of the Scottish Open in five of his six appearances to date, though he’s never managed to lift the title. He’ll face Welshman James Clarke in the next round as each hope to book a place in the last 16.

Despite the deficit distancing him from O’Sullivan’s maximum record, however, the Bristolian is aware he has time on his side. Trump said it’s “always special” challenging for a benchmark set by the likes of O’Sullivan or fellow great Stephen Hendry.

“There is always a chance of getting to the 15 because of the age gap. The last few years I have started to make them more consistently, maybe one a season,” added ‘The Juddernaut’. “And if you continue at that strike rate, I’d expect to get somewhere near it at the end. I have to make maybe one every couple of seasons to get to that record provided he doesn’t make too many.”

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O’Sullivan—who is in Trump’s half of the Scottish Open bracket—is also through to the last 32 in Edinburgh and is poised to face No. 31 seed Gary Wilson next. Despite showing a rather stony demeanour towards Trump in general, the seven-time world champion was hugely complimentary of Tuesday’s display.

“I could tell early on in the break – he was just getting perfect on everything,” the 36-year-old told Eurosport. “His touch is perfect and once he went into the reds on about 56 I couldn’t see him not making it. He wasn’t out of position, it was a fantastic break, the cue ball on a piece of string. First poke in the match – that is just unbelievable, he is making them for fun at the moment.”

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