Judd Trump looking for first Masters win at Alexandra Palace
Last Updated: 13/01/13 8:54pm
Judd Trump: Hoping to see off Neil Robertson and co at Alexandra Palace
World number two Judd Trump hopes to bounce back from his shock first-round UK Championship defeat with victory in the Masters at Alexandra Palace.
That defeat to Mark Joyce last month saw the 'Juddernaut' lose his place at the top of the rankings but he's confident of rediscovering his best snooker again in front of the raucous London crowd.
2012 Neil Robertson
2011 Ding Junhui
2010 Mark Selby
2009 Ronnie O'Sullivan
2008 Mark Selby
2007 Ronnie O'Sullivan
2006 John Higgins
2005 Ronnie O'Sullivan
2004 Paul Hunter
2003 Mark Williams
"I still feel like I am probably playing the best out of anyone at the moment, but I just need to produce it on the big stage again," said Trump, who won the UK Championship 13 months ago and finished runner-up in the 2011 World Championship.
"I haven't played in every event this season so hopefully going into the second half of the season I will be a little bit fresher than some of the people that have played in every event. I have consciously made that decision to try and stay fresh.
"The Masters and the Worlds are the two biggest. I think if I won the Masters I would put it higher than the UK because it is literally the best 16 players at this time, and I like the atmosphere there."
The 23-year-old faces faces Barry Hawkins in the first round on Tuesday.
"I think if I won the Masters I would put it higher than the UK because it is literally the best 16 players at this time, and I like the atmosphere there."
The defending champion is Neil Robertson, who is aiming to join a select group by winning the title for the second year running.
Only Cliff Thorburn (1985/86), Stephen Hendry (1989/90/91/92/93) and the late Paul Hunter (2001/2002) have won the title in successive years so the 30-year-old, who starts out against China's Ding Junhui on Sunday, knows he has a tough job on his hands.
"The way the standard is now, it is very difficult to defend titles. You have to play well from the start. Only a world class player can win it," said the Australian.