Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Higgins into world snooker final after thriller

Higgins into world snooker final after thriller

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
On cue again: Four-time world champion John Higgins came from behind to win a Crucible semi-final (AFP Photo/Paul ELLIS )

Higgins into world snooker final after thriller

JOHN Higgins came from behind to win a last-frame decider and book his place in this year’s world snooker championship final with a 17-16 victory over David Gilbert on Saturday.

The four-time champion will now face Judd Trump in a repeat of the 2011 final – a match Higgins won 18-15.

But the Scot insisted English cueman Trump, who beat qualifier Gary Wilson 17-11 in the other semi-final, was a much improved player since his only previous appearance in a World Championship final at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

“Judd is an unbelievable all-round player now, while when I played him in 2011 he was just crash, bang, wallop and normally they were going in,” said Higgins of the then 21-year-old Trump.

“I’ll be playing a different Judd Trump. The way he dismantled [Ronnie] O’Sullivan in the Masters has given him the confidence to come here as one of the favourites.”

Higgins, 10-6 behind at one stage in this semi-final, made it 16-16 with a total clearance break of 139. And the 43-year-old then seized his chance when Gilbert missed a black in the deciding frame to complete victory with a break of 55.

This win was in marked contrast to Higgins’ second-round defeat at the UK Championships late last year that left him contemplating retirement.

“I was at a low ebb around Christmas – probably the lowest ebb I’ve ever been in playing the game,” Higgins said after his tense win.

Gilbert extended his lead with a break of 105 in Saturday’s opening frame.

But Higgins then won four in a row to lead for the first time since the fifth frame at 15-14.

Gilbert, admirably, levelled at 15-15 with a break of 78 before moving to within a frame of victory following a safety exchange.

The knowledge he’d twice blown a five-frame lead seemed to overwhelm the unheralded Englishman at his post-match press conference, with Gilbert breaking down in tears.

“I’m absolutely gutted to lose,” he said. “I could have got to a world final but I’ve got nothing to feel sad about.

“I came here with no expectations and to end up on the one table against a legend like John, it was an honour.”

Trump, 9-7 ahead overnight, moved into a 14-10 lead during Saturday’s morning session.

He wasted little time in the evening, with breaks of 97 and 88 ending the surprise run of former taxi driver Wilson.


  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Bank robber of $6M asks to be released

    An accused bank robber who admitted to stealing $6 million has asked the Supreme Court to release him temporarily because he had returned the money. In a court hearing on Tuesday Chan Simuntha, 39, told the judge that on January 18, his wife Teang Vathanaknearyroth told him that

  • WHO: Antibiotics cause more deaths

    Increased antibiotics use in combating the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming

  • Children in poverty said to rise by 86M

    The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children warned that if urgent measures are not taken, the number of children living in poverty across low- and middle-income countries could increase by 86 million, a 15 per cent jump, by the end of the year. In

  • Four more Cambodian peacekeepers get Covid-19 in Mali

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a