x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Home success is close for Higgins

The Scotsman John Higgins was just one match away from collecting his first ranking event title on home soil in the 17 frame final of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow.

John Higgins is in the Grand Prix final.
John Higgins is in the Grand Prix final.

The Scotsman John Higgins was just one match away from collecting his first ranking event title on home soil in the 17 frame final of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow yesterday. Higgins, in his 45th semi-final, held an ace or two too many for gallant Judd Trump, aged 19. The Scot had to work hard to reach the GP final fo the seventh time after leading 4-1, getting pegged back to 4-4 before winning the last two frames with breaks of 61 and 83 to win 6-4.

After his narrow victory Higgins said, "At 4-1 I could see Judd was struggling and I should have gone on to win comfortably. But he can pot them off the lamp shades and when he gets used to the TV conditions he could be a very good player." Facing him in the final will be Ryan Day, 28, who has yet to put his name to a ranking event title. But he earned the right to challenge the Scot following a hard fought 6-5 victory over Ali Carter in a semi-final which produced five century breaks, three of them to the eventual winner.

"Both of us cued fantastically well, I possibly pushed the boat out at 5-2, taking the red on to the green bag and which gave him a lifeline. After that I was just hoping for a chance," said Day. Day compiled breaks of 129 (3) and 112 (4) while in frame seven came a third century a 115. Carter though launched a great comeback. From 5-2 down he closed in with breaks of 84 and his second hundred of the match a 107 - he also had a 107 in the second frame - to force a decider.

The final frame was a tense affair which Day made sure of when he potted a long yellow. "I've got John Higgins in the final and in Glasgow as well. I couldn't ask for a better match than that," said the Welshman of his final opponent. sports@thenational.ae