After his great run to the Welsh Open final earlier this month, Andrew Higginson was today back on familiar turf at the qualifiers for the 888.com World Championship in Prestatyn.

The Widnes pro won eight matches and led Neil Robertson 8-6 in their Newport final before losing 9-8.

The £39,500 he picked up, including £22,000 for a televised maximum, was more than 50% of his previous career prize money in 11 unproductive years on the circuit.

Higginson's final against Robertson was watched by a near capacity crowd and many more on television. For his match against Mark Boyle at Pontin's there were around 20 spectators in attendance to see him come through 10-4.

“I felt more pressure in this match than I did in the final," he told me. "I didn’t want to go from doing so well in Newport to falling at the first fence, so it was a really big game for me.

“It was also very important in terms of ranking points but hopefully I can relax a bit now. I’m playing well enough to get through the qualifiers and I’m full of confidence.

“The feedback has been unbelievable since Newport . I’ve had loads of text messages and people wishing me well. I think I’ve inspired a few players to carry on because I’ve shown what can happen.

“It’s still a weird feeling. As I’ve been practising for the World Championship for the last week I’ve not really been out so it’s probably not until this is over than I can sit down and look back at what I’ve achieved.”

Higginson needs to win three more matches to reach the Crucible. He will have a great number of new fans cheering him on.


Anonymous said...

Am glad Higginson won!

Although, it is still a long way to go before he gets the curtains open for him in Sheffield, his quotes make sense to a lot of the players involved.

Dave, is the China tournament the only event to have this wildcard section before the first round proper or, has it been done before in any other cup? I've never seen it in a drawsheet in the past...

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

It's been standard practice in non-British events for a few years but the China tournament has the most wildcards

Anonymous said...


The world championship qualifiers are certainly getting tasty.

As much as I would like to see Higginson go through to the Crucible what a shame that he's playing two top players also looking for that KEY breakthrough in major snooker tournaments. Selby has certainly had his chances over the years and Walden is blowing hot and cold. It'll be a shame whatever two are eliminted.

Judd Trump may well be the star of the show this year. He is progressing well and could be the 'Murphy' of the tournament. With all eyes on Ding, Trump may well make headlines of his own Fingers crossed.

Can you tell me what the problem was with Robin Hull? He seems to have a phalanx of illnesses; he pulled out of another tournament due to an ear infection. Terrible time to have a heart problem.

Also, could we see the end of Tony Drago? He must be close to dropping out the rankings. What kind of state was he in after the match? Great shame.

Any idea of what the turn out will be tomorrow for Jimmy White? I suspect there might be 50 people - including photographers - all clambering over 10 seats for a look at his match.

And with regards the earlier answers, TSN seemed to scale down operations with regards snooker after that ill-fated lunge into internet snooker rights. I remember they had vasts pages of information on tournaments, and also had every snooker hack working for them. Not much of a democracy in snooker media, then?

I think i know the answer to where most of Eurosports hq (?) programmes are done from.

Thanks, Joe