I regard John Higgins as a class act.
The way he played to win his first world title in 1998 is as good as anyone has ever played. I thought then that he would dominate the game in the same way Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry did.
It didn't quite work out that way but there's no doubt that, as an all round player, he can claim to be as good as anyone who has ever picked up a cue.
John has perhaps struggled when it comes to applying himself. He's a family man and has enjoyed fatherhood. There was a telling quote from him in a recent interview: "When I'm on my deathbed I don't think I'll look back and wish I'd spent more time on a snooker table."
Even so, a third world title is honing into view and it will take some performance to deny him.
You could argue he should have won three, four or maybe even five world titles by now. This isn't a criticism of him, more an acknowledgment of how good a player he is.
He leads Mark Allen 6-2 overnight and I would expect him to come through.
Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson are tough opponents but Higgins seems to be getting better with every frame.
This makes him hard to beat as the Crucible marathon enters its final strait.