John Higgins reaches final of the China Championship after trashing Mark Allen in a dominating snooker performance
John Higgins career started as a young boy in 1992, where at the tender age of 17 he couldn’t possible envision the success he was to have in the sport he loves so dearly. Higgins dominated the game in the mid 90’s and early 00’s to rise as one of the most recognizable names in the sport. He has done it all – not just once, but several times over and will go down in the history books as one of the best players to ever hold a snooker cue.
It hasn’t been all good though; Caught up in a match fixing scam in 2010, the Scot paid dearly with a 6 month ban from the sport, not to mention a massive dent in his reputation. High profile snooker names predicated his retirement from snooker as they couldn’t see a way past such a scandal but few would’ve thought he’d bounce back in the manner he did to once again rise to the top of the game.
Currently John Higgins is placed No.6 in the World ranking’s. Although ranked relatively high, not much silverware has come his way in recent times. Winning snooker tournaments or even getting towards the business end is no easy trick to pull out of a hat. Consistency is key, something Higgins has lacked for some time until this week at the China Championship.
Ok lets be honest, yesterday Higgins had some luck by getting Ali Carter, who by all accounts was absent throughout that match. As a result Higgins coasted to the semi final without much of a fight where he was drawn against the rising star that is Mark Allen.
In contrast, Mark Allen made his way to the semi’s by taking out Mark Selby in a match that went all the way to a final frame decider. Naturally the pundits were on Allen’s side coming into today’s match against Higgins because Allen simply looked in superior form.
As the match began, I’m sure Mark Allen got the shock of his life when Higgins quickly accumulated a 3-0 lead. Allen had to respond and although a break of 95 by him in the next sent a message to Higgins, it failed to frighten Higgins enough into playing less positive than he already was as the interval approached.
The second half of the session was almost an exact snapshot of the first, with Higgins winning the mini session 3-1 again to lead overall by 6-2. At this point Higgins could smell the extra cash waiting for him in the final.
With the final session underway, Mark Allen was left with it all to do. Allen took the first frame of the session, quickly responded to by Higgins to go 8-3 up. In the next, Allen had a chance but ultimately it was John Higgins who went on to win the frame and match by 9-3.
This is a remarkable achievement for the 41 year old, who was not reached a final of a tournament of such magnitude in a couple of years. Whoever he plays in tomorrow’s final will have their work cut out as Higgins looks in brilliant form. Could this be John Higgins back to his best?