Judd Trump looking for first Masters win at Alexandra Palace
Judd Trump hopes to bounce back from his shock first-round UK Championship defeat with victory in the Masters.
Last Updated: 13/01/13 8:54pm
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.
"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.
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.