There's been a lot of fuss made of the fact John Higgins has never won a ranking title in Scotland but the truth is that prior to the Royal London Watches Grand Prix there had only ever been ten staged in his home country.

This is fewer than have been held in China.

It isn't Scotland that has inspired Higgins but Glasgow. If the Grand Prix were still being staged in Aberdeen he would be staying in a hotel like everyone else.

As it is, he can stay at home a few miles from the SECC venue. Indeed, he was snug there the other night when the official tournament hotel was hit by two fire alarms, causing players, officials and media to sleepily traipse outside into the cold.

Higgins will win his 19th ranking title if he beats Ryan Day but it's the Welshman who has played the best snooker of the tournament.

Day will become the 46th winner of a ranking event if he takes the title today. He has lost two finals - the 2007 Malta Cup and Shanghai Masters - but has won his last two meetings with Higgins, including at the Crucible last season.

Day is guaranteed to be third in the provisional rankings whatever happens. His rise has so far been achieved through consistency but, like any top player, he wants to win major titles.

I'd make him a slight favourite but feel he must make a good start. If it goes close tonight then Higgins's greater experience may be telling.

Higgins will have all of his family with him and that will of course be a source of inspiration.

Either way, I get the feeling this will be a really good match.


Matt@PSB said...

Must admit I do fancy Ryan for this given his form this week but he'll have to bring his best safety game to the table I think. If it gets a bit scrappy then you would have to make John a strong favourite I think. We shall see...

Matt@PSB said...

On another note Dave, I notice that Graeme Dott has been credited with points for both Shanghai and the GP on the updated rankings, that's interesting.