John Higgins has shocked the snooker pundits as he won the China Championship final by 10-7 in a match that most predicted as Bingham’s to win.
Questions have been asked recently about John Higgins consistency in the past number of years, particularly with him not getting the results he once was in the 90’s to mid 00’s. Some argued that he was past his best and his game would only demise.
If ever there was a day where commentators questioned the abilities of snooker players based on age, today silenced those voices as two veterens contested the final of the China Championship. John Higgins and Stuart Bingham have reached the dreaded 40’s where, once upon a time might of be considered “over the hill”.
The brand new China Championship offered £200,000, making it the biggest payday for snooker players outside the UK. It was fitting that the two best players of the week got their chance to compete for the prize.
Stuart Bingham played a blinder against Shaun Murphy yesterday, beating him 6-5 in the end in a deciding frame. Momentum certainly seemed with the 2015 world champion, but as we have seen before it doesn’t always work out like that. There seems to be a sense of vulnerability associated with Bingham at times, unlike the hardened match player that has led John Higgins to win 28 ranking titles.
Higgins came out to win, quickly racking up a 3-0 lead. As expected Bingham livened up and took a lead of 7-6 at one point. From there on it was all about Higgins though, and rightfully so as he could sense the winning line. Like any great champion they take advantage of their opponent’s weakness and Higgins did just that like he’s done so many time throughout the years.
The mistakes crept in for Bingham and Higgins was determined enough to take advantage. From 7-6 down Higgins took the next 4 frames on the trot to win 10-7.
Taking £200,000 back to Scotland along with a huge confidence boost can only be inspirational for him coming into the UK championship at the end of the month. Stuart Bingham was once again the ‘nearly man’ who just couldn’t get over that final hurdle.
Is this the start of a role of wins for John Higgins or is this just a one trick event?