Higgins, Gould and Wenbo progress to second round of UK Championship while Ken Doherty trashed 6-0
John Higgins saw off Alex Borg in the first session of today’s UK Championship with a 6-3 win.
While observing newspapers, websites and social media platforms, there has been little if any mention of John Higgins and his chances of winning in York. The vast majority of the media is backing the usual suspects such as O’Sullivan, Selby and Trump as the leading contenders for the title.
Higgins has come to the second biggest tournament of the year, the UK Championships as arguably the player in the best form, particularly for November. Higgins started the month by winning the title and a huge prize of £200,000 at the China Championship. Following on from China, he then went on to win the Champion of Champions in Coventry and a cool £100,000, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.
Although Higgins lost in the quarter finals last week at the Northern Ireland Open, he still managed to make a 147 break.
John Higgins played a typical first round match, scrappy yet good enough in places to win comfortably.
Elsewhere Martin Gould also won his match against Gareth Allen today 6-2. Gould who lost out last year to David Grace says he’s come to the UK’s more determined than ever. In an interview he said ” It does feel like I have unfinished business after losing the way I did last year.”
Last February Martin Gould won his first ranking title at the German Masters after defeating Judd Trump. He clearly has the ability to win major ranking events but has struggled to find consistency which has been seen throughout this season so far.
Liang Wenbo had a very positive start to his UK Championship campaign today as he trashed Kurt Dunham 6-1. Wenbo made two centuries and three 60+ breaks to cruise into the second round.
The 1997 Word Champion Ken Doherty was whitewashed by Noppon Saengkham 6-0. The darling of Dublin has struggled in the past few seasons and is reflected in his huge drop in ranking and now sits at 59 in the world.
Later today Shaun Murphy will play Brazillian Itaro Santos and Ronnie O’Sullivan plays Boonyarit Kaettikun from Thailand.