It's ten years since John Higgins won the Welsh Open for the first time and today he is poised to win it for the second, just as his namesake Alex did at the World Championship in 1982.

The Scottish Higgins has re-emerged as the game's leading force having occupied that same position a decade ago.

This says more about him than it does the chasing pack. As a big occasion match player he is Mr. Dependable. This is his fourth ranking final from the last six events and he has the class to win his 21st ranking title tonight.

But Ali Carter will not be a pushover. Newport is obviously a venue he likes and if he scores heavily today he has every chance of winning.

Carter doesn't lack self belief and has the game to win frames in one visit and leave Higgins cold.

Oddly, the pair haven't met in a TV tournament for six years. Today, they will hopefully serve up a final to remember.


Anonymous said...

Well done to Higgins. A true great, but made to look good by a journeyman this afternoon.

Donal said...

Why all the cliched fence-sitting?

"today [Higgins] is poised to win it"
"[Higgins] has the class to win"
"Ali Carter will not be a pushover"
"Carter...has the game to win frames in one visit"
"Hopefully they will serve up a final to remember"

Why bother posting if you've got nothing of any substance to say? Higgins is obviously in a completely different class to Carter and will stuff him unless something remarkable happens. Carter has never beaten Higgins (or O'Sullivan), and I wouldn't give him a snowball's chance in hell of changing that today.

Dave H said...


And very easy to say when Higgins is already 6-2 up!

Anonymous said...

'Higgins is obviously in a completely different class to Carter and will stuff him unless something remarkable happens.'

So what you're saying is that either Higgins will win or Carter will win?

How's that fence?

Anonymous said...

There seems almost bewildering wonderment regarding snooker sometimes.
If player A beats player B (as mentioned by Mr Hey You) and player C defeats player D, this dos not mean that any loftily ranked player is safe against player E on a consistent basis.
What does trouble me though, is how John Evans can interview the winner and consistently ruin the occasion and become a laughing stock in frony of the dinner suited dignitaries and the Mayor of Newport.

Matt said...

"Carter has never beaten Higgins (or O'Sullivan), and I wouldn't give him a snowball's chance in hell of changing that today."

Carter has beaten both O'Sullivan and Higgins in the Championship League this month. A ranking event it may not be but they are competitive victories all the same.

Anonymous said...

Hindsight is a wonerful thing, yet some fail to realise this until after the event.

Anonymous said...

Some great stuff from Higgins this afternoon, happy that i got on him over 5.5 50+ breaks at evens with pps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I have to agree with most of the comments. I do disagree with the hyperbole these player's get by all the commentators.

Day, Carter, Maguire, Selby, Perry, Murphy et al are all average/good players.

But please, let us not get carried away by the odd shot selection/break they make in a match and think they're 'great' players. The term is banded around to easily by my liking these days.

They aren't. And never will be.

Very few are great, but on the circuit today, the word can only be described to Higgins, Hendry, Davis, O'Sullivan and Williams.

Yes, players do peak and mature at all different ages, but the greats start early. These average players just float around holding on to their top 16 card, much like tour golfers do...and make a good living.

Agreed no player will dominate again, but the standard from some of these top 16 players has been awful this week. Maguire said it himself. Carter's just done enough to be there. He's form has been off all season. And i think he has created a record by becoming the first to lose every game at the Premier League Snooker championship last week.

Higgin's was the closest ever to being the last person to dominate. He was a hybrid of Davis and Hendry. And last night and today he has gone back to those peaks of 1998-2000.

I hope the rivalry with O'Sullivan continues apace. The rest can only admire...

Thanks, Joe

kimball said...

I think the "pandaboy" will be among "the great" eventually.
How many players has won 4 rankingtitles at 22?

And don't say that the competition were tuffer in the old days.

Tom said...

3:46,how can you call Carter a journeyman!?
Last time I checked,journeymen don't make maximums at the crucible,get to 3 ranking event finals(so far)win a ranking event,or make 73 clearances to win on the black from 0-72 against higgins on finals night infront of packed crowds!
Why dont you go and post on a subject you actually know something about!

Anonymous said...

How can anyone say snooker is dyeing when we've just had the most amazing week.Great crowd's, great matches and a cracking final,snooker finally is on the way up.

Anonymous said...

Two finals tonight, and both sponsored by toteSport. The winner of one event received £60k, the winner of the other only £35k. Both sports are headed up by one Barry Hearn - and guess what final he decided to attend tonight? And some people now think snooker is on the way up? Unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

January 2010 really has been just about the best month snooker has had in some time.

Two cracking televised tournaments, positive announcements about the future of the sport - including the return of ranking event snooker to Germany after 13 years - and a general air of optimism we've not had in the game for some time.

It's a shame there's nothing high-profile for a couple of months now, but thankfully the people responsible for that situation have been booted out and we can be hopeful of better times ahead in the near future.

No doubt there will still be negativity among people who claim to be fans of snooker, much of it on here, but frankly who cares about those people? Snooker's on the way back. Get on board.

Trevor said...

Matt those championship league wins over ronnie and higgins are not counted in head to heads because they are to short a format.this has been confirmed before on this site.

Anonymous said...

I see Barry stopped at the dart's, presented Paul Nicholson with a cheque for £60,000 not bad for 3 days work, how much did Higgins win?

Anonymous said...

To Donal at 4.14.

You sir are what is known in gambling circles as an 'aftertimer'. I bet you didn't think the time of your post would be shown. Anychance of letting us know if you fancy Ali to make a comeback? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

To 9.22pm, nice to hear the positive outlook but Ronnie's matches and the final apart, I wouldn't quite agree with the term 'great crowds'. I also genuinely think that there were only a couple of matches that you'd describe as great and if you think that was a cracking final then.....

Anonymous said...

You must've been watching the darts anon at 9:22PM because that wasn't the Welsh Open - sparse crowds, early finishes, poor weekend to finish with. Definitely needs to change if it's to stay.

AndyG said...

What a shame given how good that tournament was that so much of the UK will have missed it completely because it doesn't get a look in on "BBC2 not-Wales"...

jamie brannon said...

I agree with the anonymous poster about who deserves to be called great today, but Murphy is in a higher bracket than average/good. He has the potential to still join the greats as does Selby, Ding and Ebdon perhaps if he won another World title.