Sunday, 23 September 2012

Stuff of legend

John Higgins is born to be a champion.

The superb Scot proved again today why he will go down as one of snooker's all-time greats, with the fantastic capture of the Shanghai Masters title.

He fought back from 5-0 and 7-2 down to win a dramatic final 10-9 against Judd Trump.

Higgins should be commended for a maximum 147 break he made in frame six and even more so for a trademark gutsy comeback when many predicted he was down and out.

Snooker hasn't seen many more determined players in its history than John. You can never write him off.

He trailed 7-2 in the final of 2010 UK Championship against Mark Williams and stormed back to victory. Now he's done exactly the same again here and his tenacious performance did little to surprise us. After being outclassed in the first nine frames by an excellent Trump, who has improved all week, he did what he does best; digging deep and finding something.

He potted pressure ball after pressure ball and made some superb breaks to turn the match on its head. This kind of win is the mark of all the greats.

Higgins now has 25 major titles and is third on the list of all time honours. His place as legend is undisputed.

He will take plenty of pleasure from winning his first trophy since the 2011 World Championship. But what makes this win even more remarkable for John is that he came to Shanghai void of form and distinctly lacking competitive match practice. That mattered not an ounce as Higgins showed his class.

Well played John. You are a snooker treasure.


  1. Higgins is a great player, but that doesn't change the fact that he's also a CHEATER that should have been banned 4 life...Quinten Hann was banned 8 years 4 a much smaller incident....Joe Jogia was recently banned 2, even though there is no real evidence....As 4 Higgins, the whole world saw him agree to take a bribe, yet he only got 6 much 4 treating all the players equally.
    What's your opinion Gary ?

  2. I've said everything I want to on the topic in the past. It bores me now.

    1. First, Gary, much congratulations on the reboot with the new masthead logo and Twitter avatar. I especially like that the text is in a Courier family type-face because it underscores that you're serious about your content.

      As you and some others might recall, I'm new to the game. It will be less than a full year since I started watching. Although I've seen nearly every maximum on YouTube, I've never seen one live.

      It was nearly midnight out here near San Francisco when I logged in to see Judd up 4-nil, I thought oh, my goodness, this is going to be a whitewash. The fifth frame showed me that Judd had added a strategic arrow to his quiver, so I settled in to watch him finish off Higgins. (With his trademark long pots and aggressive break-building, now that Judd plays attacking safeties, I pity anyone who draws him.)

      (One of the things I was looking forward to was the clash of shooting styles. Judd plays a "heavy ball" game with a lot of power like 9-ball players but John plays a "light ball. I can tell who's at the table just by the sound of the *TWOMP* when Judd is shooting and the *plop* when John is up. Judd must have fantastic vision. He hits those nine-footers with so much force he has to be pin-point accurate.)

      Lo and behold, the very next frame John gave me a thrill! I hope my upstairs neighbors weren't bothered but I let out a little *WHOOP* for John as the final black settled into the pocket. What underscored his mastery was just how calm and quick he was.

      Wonderful job with the logo, Gary.

  3. There once was a man who inadvertently knocked a gate down when driving out of the office. Careless. A mistake, not an accident. Otherwise, he was a good engineer and his ideas & projects won him a few quid and a lot of popularity. Bogdan, do you seriously think that each time that engineer did well at his work and received recognition, he should also have received reproaches for the knocked down gate?...

    Letting go of the past is an important part of the art of living. It also improves the function of the liver. ;-)

  4. PS Great new look of the blog, Gary! Well done!