SNOOKER: THERE is a new name on the Champion of Champions trophy after John Higgins beat tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan to take home the £100,000 top prize in front of a packed out Ricoh Arena crowd.
Higgins rolled back the years and produced a scintillating performance to win the match 10-7 and become only the third winner of the popular competition.
It looked as though O’Sullivan was heading for a hat-trick of wins in Coventry after holding a 5-4 lead following Saturday’s first session.
But Higgins, who beat Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui to reach the final, fought back later in the evening with the scoreline at 7-7 before the Scot went on snatch the next three frames to win his second event in the space of just seven days.
“I am delighted to put my name to that list of Champion of Champions winners; it has been a good two weeks and you have to roll with it when it is going for you,” said Higgins.
“I can’t speak for Ronnie but I was buzzed up coming into play. I just wish my old man was still here to see me take part in these finals.
“It is up to people to think about (if I am playing as well as I ever have). When I play like that, there is no greater feeling. You get in the balls and think you are going to clear up at every chance.
“There is no better feeling than doing it in front of a packed audience, playing against somebody as good as Ronnie.”
O’Sullivan was gracious in defeat, added: “Well played to John, he played fantastic all week – he was by far the best player of the week.
“John is on a roll at the minute, he is really starting to play as he did a few years ago, so for me he is probably the best player in the world at the moment with the way he is playing.
“I need to find some consistency if I am going to win tournaments again. It is ok playing in spells but you get found out playing players like John. Against most players I might have had a chance of winning but against world-class opposition I made too many mistakes.”