Judd Trump says it is strange to be the elder statesman in a big game, as he prepares to face Si Jiahui in the German Masters final on Sunday.
The 34-year-old is hoping to win his fourth ranking title of the season after beating Sam Craigie 6-2 on Saturday evening’s semi-final.
Earlier in the afternoon Si pulled off a brilliant 6-3 victory over former champion Kyren Wilson to reach his first ranking final.
The 21-year-old burst onto the scene last year by reaching the World Championship semi-finals as a qualifier and has put together his best run of results since the Crucible in Berlin.
Trump admits it will be a different feeling as the relative veteran to be shot at by the younger man, having been doing that himself for most of his career so far, going all the way back to his 2011 Crucible final against John Higgins.
‘It’s very strange for me playing someone that young,’ Trump told WST. ‘It’s kind of come full circle, I feel like when I was playing John Higgins in the [World Championship] final at that age. I’m the one to be shot at, but he’s a tremendous talent.
‘The way he plays the game as well for Chinese snooker is amazing. He’s very attacking, goes for his shots, gets on with the game and is very nice to watch. I’m looking forward to that game.’
Si has had a steady but unspectacular season so far after his amazing performance in Sheffield last April.
However, he has found brilliant form in Berlin, winning five frames on the spin against Wilson in the semi after losing the first two, including a huge break of 138 on the way.
‘I have not thought about making it to another semi-final much since the run at the Crucible last year,’ he said. ‘I just focus on each shot without thinking about how many tables are featured in the arena. If I play well, I will make progress and if I lose I will have no regrets. It doesn’t matter who I am playing, it’s not going to change my shot selections.
‘I feel like I’ve got used to this venue very well, so even at 2-0 down I didn’t feel much pressure. I just relaxed out there because I know Kyren is a top professional. My form picked up and I managed to stay in a good mindset to close it out.
‘This match was very like the World Championship. The audience has been so passionate and it is a massive crowd. It made me concentrate more.’
Both men will be relishing the unique experience of a Tempodrom final, which is one of the highlights of the entire snooker calendar.
‘I think it’s one of the venues…there’s obviously bigger prize money tournaments on the calendar but here is a feeling that money can’t buy, walking in at the semi-final stage,’ said Trump who has twice won the German Masters before.
‘It’s a tournament that I always enjoy coming to, look forward to coming to, try to get to the latter stages to try and experience that one-table atmosphere again. It lived up to the expectation.’
Trump and Si will play over a best-of-19, two-session contest at 1pm and 7pm on Sunday, with the winner claiming £80,000 and the runner-up settling for £35,000.
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