Champion of Champions Snooker 2023 Semi-Final – Judd Trump vs Barry Hawkins Tips and Betting Preview

We are down to the semi-final stage of the Champion of Champions with the first of the two matches taking place in Wolverhampton on Friday night with what promises to be a cracking clash as Judd Trump meets Barry Hawkins.

These two men have seen plenty of each other this season and are two of the best three players of the campaign so far. Both have lifted silverware this term and know how to reach the finals of big events so this should be a terrific showdown.

Judd Trump

We are getting used to seeing Judd Trump in big semi-finals. This will be the fifth time he has reached the last four of an event this season and he has gone on and won three of the previous four and then won the tournament after that. Trump is clearly the player to beat at the minute and looked in decent order to the naked eye in winning his group here on Thursday, although he subsequently said he felt awful on the table which was interesting.

While Trump has been winning a lot of matches this season, his campaign has been a little like that of Mark Allen last term in that he has come out on top a number of times despite not playing his best. You suspect he will need his best in this match, or at least a spell of it, but we’ve seen over the last two months that he can win games with his B standard, which I guess is what he did in the group final on Thursday. Whether he is on song or not you sense Trump is going to be tough to beat here.

Barry Hawkins

Not many people have beaten Judd Trump this season but Barry Hawkins will have the confidence of knowing that he has done it. He did it in the biggest match he has played this term in the final of the European Masters and he should take great confidence from that. Hawkins has also made the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Open this term so much like the man in the opposite seat here, he is used to playing in and competing in big semi-finals in this campaign.

Hawkins looked very good in winning his group earlier in the week. He walloped the world champion Luca Brecel in his opening match and didn’t really give him much of a look in there and then eased past Robert Milkins to book his spot in this semi-final. Hawkins scored very well throughout the play on Tuesday and that has been the hallmark of his campaign so far. If he can do that again in this match he is entitled to be extremely dangerous.

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These two men have met on 19 prior occasions and it might be a surprise to some that it is actually Barry Hawkins who has a slender 10-9 lead. That advantage is greater on the frame count at 95-85 which means that his wins tend to be more comfortable. This will be the ninth time that this pair will face off in a semi-final. They are 4-4 for the previous eight so there is little in that. This will be the first time they have met at the Champion of Champions but it isn’t the first best of 11 battle they will embark on. They have done that eight previous times with Trump winning six of those to the two of Hawkins. Trump has also won the last two meetings which were both last month.


We are all set up for a belter of a contest here. I mentioned when these two met in the semi-final of the Northern Ireland Open that they have a tendency to go the distance when they meet over the best of 11 frames. That match actually ended 6-4 but in the seven over that length that preceded it five went to the final frame and there was another than finished 6-4. They generally deliver cracking contests over this format and I am expecting no different here.

Hawkins raced into a 4-1 lead in Belfast last month but Trump found his best when he needed it and came out on top 6-4 but we know Hawkins never gives in and he has turned a number of matches around from behind, most recently in the International Championship last week where he was 5-1 down to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh before winning 6-5. Never giving in is a hallmark of these two men as is heavy scoring so I’m not surprised they go deep when they meet. I expect this to follow that trend and 6/5 on over 9.5 frames looks an obvious pick based on their past battles and their form at present.


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