The 2021 Betfred Masters gets underway this week but Judd Trump will take no part in the first Triple Crown event of the New Year after testing positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the tournament. The world No 1 and bookmakers’ favourite and Jack Lisowski have both contracted coronavirus.
Judd Trump misses tournament
Trump said: “I am obviously very disappointed to be missing the Masters, it is one of the biggest titles we play for.
“I didn’t have any symptoms so it came as a shock when I heard I had tested positive -but we have all seen what is going on in the country.
“The main thing now is to isolate properly and recover, and I also want to see my brother Jack get a test as well to make sure he is okay.”
Joe Perry replaces Trump while Lisowski’s place has been taken by Gary Wilson.
The World Snooker Tour confirmed: “Perry and Gary Wilson were both already present at the event as reserves and have received negative test results.”
And they added in their statement: “WST is following extensive Covid-19 guidelines in a ‘bubble’ environment for this event. All players are tested two days in advance of their first match, and after the test they remain in isolation until the result is received.
“All other players and officials tested at the event so far have had negative results.
“Trump and Lisowski will now undergo a further period of self isolation and will receive the support of WST and WPBSA.
“Since WST events restarted in June 2020, strict Covid-19 regulations have been and continue to be followed, under UK Government guidance.”
In Trump’s absence, Ronnie O’Sullivan will hope to add to his tally of 37 ranking titles while Neil Robertson and Mark Selby are among his main rivals.
Seven-time Masters champion Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ said to Eurosport ahead of this year’s event: “I think the top three [Trump, Robertson and Selby] are playing to such a high standard, it will be one of those three that win the majority of the events.
“If there are 25 tournaments, I reckon 20 of them will go to them. Judd will win six, Neil will win five and Selby will win four. I just think it is that sort of level.
“Mark Allen might win one, Ding (Junhui) might win one, I might win one, someone will win the Shoot Out. I just think they are playing to such a high level and the players from 17 downwards in the rankings are all a bit hit and miss in comparison.
“There’s a massive gap between those three and maybe the number 18 in the world. I’ve played those three now and you don’t get a lot off of them, but you seem to get away with quite a bit against the lower-ranked players.
“Allen slipped in and won one, Kyren Wilson won one. There will always be that chance for a player to maybe catch one of them on their off day in a final or a semi-final, but it is difficult.”
How to live stream Masters snooker
There are several ways snooker fans can live stream the 2021 Masters.
With television coverage being shown by BBC and Eurosport, streaming will be available via their online platforms.
Those watching BBC’s coverage will be able to stream the snooker for free via the iPlayer app.
The app is available on mobiles, tablets and gaming consoles, with streams also available on the BBC website.
Fans can also live stream the snooker through the Eurosport Player.
A subscription is required and costs £6.99 per month, or £39.99 for the annual pass.
Some UK bookmakers will also be showing streams of selected matches for free on their platforms.