The Betfred.com World Championship final will be one of contrasts: one of snooker’s greatest champions against the new, exciting kid on the block.

Judd Trump has been the star of this tournament and he may well prove to be the winner.

But John Higgins has been there and done it before – three times – and this experience may prove to be crucial.

Nobody who saw Trump’s 17-15 victory over Ding Junhui could fail to be impressed by the 21 year-old’s performance.

He stood up to all of the pressure and expectation on the big stage and there’s every reason to believe he can do it again in the final.

Higgins described him as “the new young star our game badly needs.” It is a role Trump is willing to play. He is still loving every minute of his Crucible adventure.

But Higgins has the game, the class and the iron will to stop the Juddernaut in his tracks.

It’s been obvious ever since his return that he is giving every frame of every match 100% and that intensity isn’t going to wane in a world final.

“I don’t know where I can put the cue ball to stop him potting,” was his view on Trump’s game. But as one of snooker’s finest tacticians, he knows full well what he needs to do to contain this ferociously good potter.

Trump’s safety game is vastly improved of late but Higgins’s is still stronger. This may ultimately be key in him dictating what sort of match it will be.

This Crucible final is a clash of styles and generations. It is a modern day great against a young man giving us a glimpse of the future.

Trump has the belief to win but does he, over four sessions against Higgins, have the game?

The fascination, as ever, lies in finding out.


Anonymous said...

Higgins impresses. we saw his grit throughout the season but against McLeod and the Rocket and in the first half against Williams, showed lapses in concentration and lack in touch and timing that we haven't seen before thus frequent and persevering. However, by mere determination, relying on his basic level, he did not give up.
like a boxer getting blows but never going down, he ultimately got the better of his opponents and eventually started producing more of his A-game.
the rope-a-dope tactic like Ali against Foreman, hanging in the ropes to come out firing when it counts most.
Definitely not the one playing the most attractive snooker, but what intensity and tenacity....how he knows to play all out, positive when needed most (like Ralf Souquet in pool and Dick Jaspers in three-cushion)...i tip my hat.
c'mon Trump!!!

Dzierzgul said...

And so, exactly one year after News of The World allegations, John Higgins is back in the world final. Good.

I first read the story minutes after it was posted on this blog. I feared that Higgins' career may be over, which would be bad for snooker. And I'm glad that the accusations proved to be unfounded. Higgins then showed great class winning the UK Championship and Welsh Open and now reaching the last match at the Crucible. He truly is a fantastic sportsman.

Yes, he's not playing as well as he can. He makes some errors but still he wins matches and that's really all that matters. I'd be happy should he become the world champion.

Trump's performance has been fantastic all month. His matches against Selby in China and against Ding were classics. And many people are perhaps a bit bored by the old guard (Higgins, Williams, O'Sullivan) winning everything before them so he is - rightly - seen as a new thing. I wouldn't mind him winning. Still, personally, I'm sticking to players I always liked so I'm proudly joining Team Higgins once again, hoping of course for great stuff from the Wizard.

And if there are people who out of the sudden start worshiping Judd, remember: in a few years time, should he start winning tournament after tournament, you can get a bit bored with him too. It happened to Davis, Hendry, Higgins, O'Sullivan. When Murphy was winning at the Crucible he was a hero. Not so much now...

Of course, it must be repeated over and over again that Judd's terrific (and there's not a chance he'll become a second Murphy). Still, I hope that those who liked Higgins won't suddenly shift their loyalties only because Judd's a novelty. Nothing wrong in loving him, just - in my opinion - a bit silly doing it simply cause he's not one of the old guys.

P.S. Dave, am I right that this year the age gap between Crucible finalists is biggest since 1982?

Anonymous said...

i see on the BBC website that the legendary 'whispering' Ted Lowe has died at the age of 90. very sad news, and i'm sure all our thoughts are with his family.

Anonymous said...

R-I-P Ted Lowe..

Anonymous said...

Judd just took the first frame in style and I hope he keeps going. There is no intimidation, no sign of nerves. What's not to love?

As much as I respect John I would like to see this fairy tale played out and the Trumpster lift the trophy.

'Good luck mate'

Betty Logan said...

Hey, Dave, I've thought up another nickname for you to use while you're commentating: "Judd Dread" (after the comic book character).

And if he wins the championship, you can label him "Judd, jury and executioner".


Hi David. A great final. A great shame the the spot's number 1 commentator, will only be there and seeing it in spirit. Trump Deseves his lead. Higgins is not out of it though. All to play for tomorrow.

Johan said...

Suggestion for tomorrow's blog title: "JUDDgement Day"


GHi David,reat Match!

Anonymous said...

Samson(ite) Trump

Anonymous said...

Slightly off-topic but;

"rope-a-dope tactic like Ali against Foreman, hanging in the ropes to come out firing when it counts most"

I don't think it's common knowledge that Foreman cut his eye sparring and went a month WITHOUT sparring before that fight. He was very sluggish and mis-firing and paid for it in the end but Ali would never offer him a rematch. Now THAT, with a fully sharp Foreman, would have been some fight!!!:-)

Mat Wilson

Graeme said...

The truth of the matter is that Higgins should not be in this or any other tournament.
Without a thought for his fellow professionals, he was prepared to sell his soul for money. It is, as the person who was ejected mentioned, a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

youre a disgrace Graeme

if someone offered me stolen goods for 10% their value and i agreed and then went back on my decision before going through with it and then the police found out and still i got "jailed" for 6 months for not informing them of the illegal activities i would take my punishment and move on.....and id still not have received the stolen goods.

John didnt cheat
He agreed to (under pressure as he put it)
He didnt go through with it
He didnt get banned for it

He got banned for not telling WS hed been approached to cheat.

If you think that is cheating, youre warped!