Higgins sets sights on fifth world title

Scotland's John Higgins plays a shot during the World Championship Snooker semi-final match against England's Kyren Wilson at The Crucible in Sheffield, England on May 3, 2018
AFP

London (AFP) – John Higgins powered into the World Championship final on Saturday and immediately set his sights on joining the sport’s all-time greats.

Higgins has won the world title four times and will make his seventh appearance in the prestigious final after defeating Kyren Wilson 17-13.

Higgins is just one title behind Ronnie O’Sullivan’s haul of five and the Scot admitted it would be a great feeling to emulate his old rival.

“Of course it would, it would be amazing. He’s the best player ever in my eyes and if I got to the same amount of world titles it would be an amazing feeling,” Higgins said.

Higgins will face either Barry Hawkins or Mark Williams in the two-day final, which starts on Sunday.

Hawkins and Williams were level at 14-14 as they battled it out in a tense final session of their semi-final on Saturday evening.

Only Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis have lifted the trophy more times at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre than O’Sullivan.

Higgins first won the world title in 1998, and has twice lost in the final in 2001 against O’Sullivan and last year against Mark Selby.

Asked if he sees himself as the favourite to take this year’s title, the 42-year-old said: “No. I know it’s going to be another mammoth final. It’ll be a great match I’m sure.

“I keep using the word ‘proud’. I’m proud 20 years later, after I won my first one, that I’m sitting here ready to compete in another one. It’s a fantastic feeling.”

Higgins was 10-4 ahead against Selby yet lost in their second world final meeting 12 months ago. 

Determined to make amends, he said: “I felt that was probably my best ever chance to win it (for a fifth time).

“It might still be my best ever chance. I don’t know how the next game’s going to transpire.”

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