No one will dominate snooker like Phil Taylor has done in darts, says Judd Trump
JUDD Trump can never imagine a player dominating snooker in the way Phil Taylor has made prize-winning his preserve in darts.
But the new world number one, from Bristol, is taking his cue from the man with 15 darts world titles and practising harder than ever ahead of the defence of his williamhill.com UK Championship title in York next month.
Trump, 23, secured his third major trophy at the International Championship in China earlier this month, earning a £125,000 cheque with a performance that suggested he can step into the breach and thrill crowds in the absence of Ronnie O'Sullivan, who is skipping the rest of the season to deal with personal issues.
Trump suspects Taylor's achievements make him a one-off.
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And although he got the better of the 52-year-old when they tried out each other's sport in an exhibition this week, as Trump hit a bullseye and Taylor, pictured, failed to pull off a trick shot, snooker's brightest young star was in awe of the darts man's record.
"It's incredible really, the amount of tournaments he's won over such a long period of time. When he plays at his best, he's so far ahead of everyone else," said Trump. "It's incredible to keep going. His dedication must be second to none.
"In snooker there's six or seven people who are winning the tournaments at the moment. I think sooner rather than later someone will break through and dominate a little bit, but it's so hard, the standard is so good."
Trump was outside the world's top 16 players two years ago, but his rapid ascent has only caught others by surprise.
The Bristolian never doubted his talent and is savouring his time in the spotlight.
Now he intends to remind packed crowds and armchair fans in Britain how far he has come when he contests the UK Championship, which begins on December 1, and then the Masters and World Championship in the early months of 2013.
"It's been good," said Trump. "I've been playing quite consistently this year. I've had a couple of good results already, reaching the Shanghai Masters final and winning the International Championship, so I'm full of confidence going into the big 'BBC' events now.
"They're the main tournaments everyone wants to win, so I'm going in feeling there's no reason I shouldn't have a good chance of being in more finals."