In capturing the totesport.com Welsh Open title for a second time last night John Higgins once again demonstrated that he is the best player in the world right now.

The way he raced into a 5-0 lead was an emphatic exhibition of top quality snooker. Ali Carter fought back a little but the comeback never really looked on.

It was Higgins’s second title and fourth final from the last six ranking events. He appeared in the semi-finals of the other two.

He also has the upper hand currently over the game’s other leading force, Ronnie O’Sullivan, having beaten him four times in five meetings this season.

These two 34 year-olds are a distance ahead of the rest in the provisional rankings.

Higgins in particular seems to be playing just as well as he was a decade ago when he, O’Sullivan, Mark Williams and Stephen Hendry were all producing high quality snooker as the sport’s bona fide top four.

Indeed, these four have between them won 15 of the last 20 World Championships and held the no.1 spot in the rankings for the last two decades.

Higgins’s first Welsh Open success ten years ago came before marriage and fatherhood. These happy events undoubtedly caused him to lose some of his focus but, as he said himself, “When I’m on my deathbed I won’t be thinking, ‘I wish I’d spent more time on a snooker table.’”

O’Sullivan will now have to do better than Higgins at the China Open otherwise the Scot will have the no.1 spot sewn up before the Crucible.

His continuing success proves just how good he is. And as world champion, snooker is fortunate to have him.

John is not only a great player but a good guy too: friendly, unaffected by his status and willing to do his bit for the sport as a whole.

Can he win a fourth world title? On this form, absolutely.

And he and O’Sullivan are in opposite halves of the draw for this year’s Crucible event.

Yes, snooker needs new faces but that would be a final to relish.


Anonymous said...

I have Freeview and was really disappointed that it wasn't on the red button.

Anonymous said...

Higgins is 10 times better than O'sullivan

Eric said...

@ Anon 2:20 PM
I have a Eurosport Player account and was really disappointed that they put on the livestream transmission only one hour after the final had started. (And what an hour that turned out to be...)

On-topic: Well done to John Higgins, who tops Ronnie O'Sullivan when it comes to consistency. A worthy number 1 next season!

shaun said...

higgins is way ahead of o sullivan not only as a snooker player but as a person to good luck for the worlds john

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan could do with taking a leaf out of Johns' book as regards temperament. In my opinion John has taken over as Snookers finest ambassador from Steve Davis.

Anonymous said...

If O'Sullivan had won last nights final and had been asked (as John was) whether he had ever played better than the first 5 frames Ronnie would have said something like:

"I cant play the game anymore and do not care whether I win or lose. I get bored in long matches and cant see myself doing this for much longer as I was a better player 15 years ago.......ZZZZZZ"

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice midway through frame 12 in the Higgins / Carter final when the red ball was potted while Higgins was bridging over the pack? It amazed the commentators how far wide the ball was and it still went in. Nippy professional pockets ........ they are having a laugh!!!
Here's a starter for ten on a different matter.Does anyone know if the referee uses a new set of balls for each professional match or are they used more than once. (How many times are they generally used if more than once)

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you lad! Thanks again for the posts; it’s nice to overcome at last the “Conspiracy of Silence” fellowship. Sadly Dave, cliques still reign and discrimination is condoned, and probable will always be part of snooker.

Snooker Patter now: You lads are wrong in think that John Higgins is something special. All players in the first dozen are also special, and possible a few more further back as well.
Snooker ability has reached its peak; the top snooker ability belongs to so many. Youngsters that average a dozen centuries per day can’t even qualify, or fail first round.

Snooker Belongs to Ronnie O; the lad tries to entertain, and the first to entertainment will rule and understand snooker. Ronnie O is the first player to “Think” and then “Say” big breaks don’t entertain. The lad was winning consistently, yet was demanding change.

Ronnie is on a looser as snooker coaching is based on winning at any cost. The player that does sometimes entertains doesn’t know what he “Was” doing right. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

best player by a long way this past year or two.

and a nice guy who doesnt say idiotic things and treat other humans like bits of dog dirt on his shoe.

all hail higgins!!

Anonymous said...

Look on You Tube at the Alex Higgins great clearance against Jimmy White in the 1982 World Champs and you wil see the vast pocket openings employed in those days on the BCE table.
They got even bigger over the next 5 years too.
The biggest myth in snooker is that the pockets were tighter in the golden era of the game.
Most of the time they were like wizards sleeves compared to nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Spot on as ever there Mr Hey You, you're post's are always a pleasure to read, but most importantly they are based on FACT!!!

Trevor said...

To all the lads on hear knocking ronnie and saying higgins is 10 times better.ronnie has won more titles,has nearly 200 more centuries, made more maximums more seasons at no1 and still ahead on the head to heads.stick to the facts lads.ronnie is struggling against higgins at d moment because his long game is poor and he is beating lesser players in earlier rounds. he is not getting away with it against higgins.

Anonymous said...

Dave do you know why only viewers in Wales get the BBC coverage of this event? It's a bit daft it's a bit like saying that only BBC viewers in Sheffield should view the world championship.

Anonymous said...

Where the modern day players have a distinct advantage over the likes of Davis, Reardon and Werbenuik is in the tips they use.
There has been a new superior brand which are made from bison leather in the Phillpines.
The players 30 years ago played on tighter tables, bigger & heavier balls and rock hard tips.
Also training methods have improved with high class coaches and academies to provide utter brilliance, despite what Mr Hey You would have you believe.

Anonymous said...

10:47pm if you have a sky box you could of watched the Welsh open anywhere in the uk on channel 991.

Dave H said...

The Welsh Open was inaugurated by BBC Wales as one of their own sporting events.

The BBC network aren't interested in showing it. Indeed, it's no secret they want to drop the Grand Prix.

Anonymous said...

If the BBC do drop the Grand Prix, i think Barry will be on to ITV4 to show it, he know's what a great job these do. Great coverage of the dart's last week and he was there everyday.

Trevor said...

Why is that? And it one of the majors the 4th biggest title in the game.is it poor crowds lack of sponsorship ?

Anonymous said...

A positive for snooker for those in the south - http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/gloucestershireheadlines/World-class-snooker-venue-Gloucestershire/article-1786121-detail/article.html

Mal said...

At the end of this season, Higgins will have been world no. 1 for 4 seasons to O'Sullivans 5. Both have been in the world's top two on 7 different seasons since 1996. Hendry record is 13 different seasons in top 2 - 9 as no. 1.
Ronnie and Stephen may be the century and maximum kings (Hendry still will hold the record I think for centuries, but Ronnie will probably get more maxs), but Higgins has beat Ronnie and more at ranking events significantly more times than he has beaten him. Uner pressure, John and Stephen have proven themselves over many years - Ronnie has improved in this area in last 5 years, but is still a class below them in this. I think John Higgins will be a threat for longer than Ronnie O'Sullivan who has been slipping a lot in last couple of years in my opinion, but his breakbuilding, fear factor (from others who have not taken their chances) and consistency has kept him at the top.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi. Dave. Thanks again, you are a brave man. Sincere thanks also to mister 11:11PM for the plug, I know now by this thread that there are two more Dave-Den blogs reading my posts.

Dear mister 11:11 pm, your detail may be true, but the “Pure art” of striking the cue ball correctly has nothing to do with the “Cosmetics” or the ancillaries of snooker.
The game has never been played as an “Art”, but the pro future of snooker lies in the “Fine Art” of snooker, not the fun game of snooker.
Snooker balls are easier to pot on Sunday afternoons is a “Cosmetic” statement and would be believed, not only by youngsters if said by a popular player.

The champion player turned coach, should not charge more to youngsters than a good club player as the price belongs to “Coaching” not a guarantee of championship success. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

The balls werer bigger years ago and the pockets smaller.

jamie brannon said...

Dave, it was a secret to snooker fans about the Grand Prix. What's the issue? Ratings? The final got an okay audience figure. Or is it they feel they need to focus on Olympic sports in the run up to 2012? I think they have bit of an issue with indoor sports as they dropped a bowls event last year.

As for the laughable Ronnie comments, well Trevor responded in a way. However, he mainly talked about who is greater over time undoubtedly Ronnie. Even now though Ronnie is still favourite for every event. I think we should wait and see what happens at the Crucible as if Ronnie wins there you would have to say he is the number one again. Because of how quickly the supremacy could change between the two, I would argue there is no authentic number one at the moment. Although Higgins and Ronnie together are setting the benchmark for the rest.

jamie brannon said...

I think Higgins is shading it this season over Ronnie as he has been in two finals winning one and three semis. Only the blip at the Masters.

Ronnie has won one event, been in two other finals and two other semis.

Anonymous said...

there is a clear top 7 or 8 emerging with ronnie and john 1 and 2, ding robertson and maguire all quickly following and selby and murpthy and perhaps carter.

its the best standerd I have seen in years

Anonymous said...

a John Higgins v Ronnie O'Sullivan match don't get the pulses racing as much as it should.

its a all mates together clash and it lacks the edge of a O'sullivan v Selby which Reminds me of the Alex Higgins v Steve Davis rivalry of the 80s.

these day of age thats the match i want to see contesting finals.but in the World Championship they are in the same half of the draw.

Anonymous said...

So the 9-8 at the uk semi did'nt get your pulse racing 6:29pm i know it sure did mine.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Jamie Brannon
How are you dear chap! Hi Dave. You mentioned Jamie the “Olympic Games” without suggesting a possible “Hand out” for the poor ole game of snooker.
Being a writer Jamie, you must wonder why “Our Game” snooker, doesn’t deserve some help?

Mr Mark Wildman, a past chairman talked seriously of a generous donation of two millions from the Olympic funds? Did Mark, a proper gentleman I might add, get an Olympic rejection or a life time ban on snookers application?

Writers Jamie should write and find words to seek questions (on snooker) that should be asked politely and forcible The Dave Dem blog is not a closed shop. If you should know Jamie; please remember there are no secrets in snooker. Mr hey you

PS I hope my posting doesn’t frighten your blogs away Dave.DM

Anonymous said...

Now there's a meeting of minds!

Anonymous said...

The balls could not be potted along the cushions during the late 70's.
Proof of this is that the hawkeyed potter that is Perrie Mans didn't make a break above 27 when winning the Benson & Hedges Masters.
Pockets often seemed smaller than the balls which seems the size of the Temple of Doom ball which almost killed Harrison Fjord (Sweden) in the film of the same name.

Anonymous said...

7:05 PM

don't you think it lacks something.

its a mates match more than a rivalry.

Unknown said...

got a feeling higgins wont regain his title - and my hunch is that ronnie and higgins wont win a world title again

thats my hunch only - i feel robertson and allen would be ready to clinch the big one this time round. Ding dark house

Claus Christensen said...

Thank god for Eurosport player.

Anonymous said...

whats a dark house?

Anonymous said...

A dark house is where a rich person develops photographs, although most rich people have digital cameras I suppose.
Nothing is like it used to be, blogs were better when I was a kid too.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!