KEN Doherty aside, Tuesday wasn’t the greatest day for press conferences at the Shanghai Masters. Apart from John Higgins deciding – not for the first time – that after a disappointing defeat he didn’t much fancy honouring his contractual obligations as a professional player, Judd Trump was almost Stephen Hendry-esque with some curt and abrupt responses that lasted a couple of minutes but only because of the sometimes tortuous translation process.
After the 5-2 first-round loss to Dominic Dale Trump refused at first to give his overall views of the match, the bland but traditional first request from the host and interpreter in China. He then blamed the conditions for both his own poor performance and unnamed other top players in the first round without specifying the nature of his gripe.
The inevitable question about whether he had watched home hero Ding Junhui’s match against good friend Jack Lisowski – annoying, especially since he had been on the other table but par for the course in a Chinese press conference – was met with the unlikely “I didn’t know they were playing.” And in the same vein for the final piece de resistance, a mildly provocative but possibly mis-translated enquiry as to whether he had given his all in the match was met with “Stupid question.”
The players all know they occasionally have to field slightly odd questions in the Far East with the translation not helping, and even in the bitter aftermath of a disappointing defeat Trump, who like many observers fancied he would have a run in this event, can do better.
Photograph by Monique Limbos