Trump reached new heights in an incredible period of form that peaked during his memorable World Championship triumph in 2019. The 33-year-old claimed a record six ranking titles in the 2019/20 season, and won a further five the following year to set an extraordinary benchmark on the baize.
But the serial-winning world No.2 slipped from his own stunning standards last season, collecting only two titles at the Turkish Masters and Champion of Champions. And he is yet to claim silverware in a slow start to the current campaign as he has struggled to reproduce the levels that made him the man to beat in the sport.
Speaking after reaching the last 32 at the English Open in Brentwood on Tuesday, Trump reflected on his recent form and suggested it was not possible to continue winning tournaments at such a frequent rate.
“The simple fact is for maybe 12 years I was winning one or two events a year, it’s only the last couple of seasons I was able to win five or six, it’s not sustainable to be doing that," he told Eurosport.
“It’s hard to try and keep that motivation. You cannot keep that up your whole career, you can’t do it every year. If you are winning two or three every year you are doing well, five or six you will last about five years and then have to retire because it’s too hard.”
But O'Sullivan, who won his seventh world title at the Crucible aged 46 in May before celebrating his 47th birthday this month, sent Trump a reminder of true sporting longevity. “Wait until you’re 47 mate!” he quipped.
Trump is seen as the heir to O'Sullivan as snooker's future flag bearer when the game's greatest player does eventually call time on his storied career.
And his task of winning world titles could be made slightly easier when O'Sullivan and his fellow famed 'Class of 92' graduates John Higgins and Mark Williams hang up their cues.
Trump refuses to set a target for Crucible crowns, but admitted that he would have underachieved in his career if he does not add to his solitary World Championship win.
“I feel like if I’d have won mine at 21 as well [as Hendry] its a whole different story but then you start to panic a bit and you just want to win it once so for me - to get that first one out of the way was massive," he told Stephen Hendry's Cue Tips Youtube channel.
“Everything else now is a bonus but I feel like I’d be disappointed if I didn’t get to maybe three or four - I feel like I probably would have underachieved a little bit."