John Higgins has done little of late to suggest a fifth world title success is likely but form is not necessarily relevant for the Scot.

He was the best player of the 1997/98 season when he won his first world title and again in 2005/06 when he lost in the first round.

A year later he turned up in Sheffield after a far from outstanding season and won a second title. In 2009, he wasn’t pulling up trees and won again. Two years ago he was the player to beat and nobody did beat him.

It would be foolish to write Higgins off. He knows exactly how to win at Sheffield. If his game comes together he is capable of beating anyone. Many players will tell you he and Ronnie O’Sullivan are still the best players in the game.

Indeed, they have won the title five times between them from the last six stagings of the World Championship and this year are drawn in the same quarter, 17 years after their first Crucible meeting.

What Higgins has is the ability to mix it better than most. He always seems to know what the right shot is and invariably plays it. He has an iron tactical game and can score as heavily as anyone.

Last year he bombed out 13-4 to Stephen Hendry in the second round. It was a poor display devoid of any rhythm or confidence.

Earlier in this campaign Higgins was playing well, particularly to win the Shanghai Masters, but his concentration seems to have wavered too often since, leading to wild inconsistency of performance and results.

At the Crucible Higgins seems to play well or well below par. He is as likely to lose in the first round this year as win it.

And in some ways for a multi champion to be such an unknown quantity makes him dangerous. He, and O’Sullivan, have what most players in the field do not: an aura built on reputation. It’s one of the reasons Hendry was still doing well in the tournament after his peak.

So the form may be patchy but the record is not. Higgins’s claim on a fifth title cannot merely be dismissed because he has struggled of late.


kimball said...

When a better time to go one up on Ronnie and win his 5th!Easy draw compared to the bottom half.
Top dog on form is Bingham!!

Anonymous said...

If he plays like he's been playing recently he won't make it past Bingham never mind o'sullivan in the quarters. But sayingthat you can never write off a 4-time world champion.

Anonymous said...

Please god no !
If there were any justice, the guy should even be there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dave's last comment - in the case of Higgins, current form does not apply, he could easily put together a run & win.

He remains unpopular with a few snooker supporters I talk to round the venues. One of my friends won't watch any match he is in ! Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

dave why do you let ignorant and inflammatory comments like 131's?

Anonymous said...


Firstly, your comment makes no sense. If you switch 'let' with 'allow', then it becomes somewhat coherent.
There was nothing 'ignorant' nor 'inflammatory' in what I originally wrote. If that is your honest opinion, then you are part of the problem.
What was ignorant was the contempt John Higgins had for the game that has made him rich beyond his wildest dreams.
What was inflammatory was the casual disregard he had for those who strive to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner and who endeavour to uphold the high regard with which the overwhelming majority of snooker professionals are held.
Applaud politely as Higgins rolls in another century break if you like, but remember what his intentions were. Many will, neither will they forget.

Anonymous said...

This is a strange one. The reality is he's go to be one of the favourites no matter how poorly he has played recently, simply because since 2007 he has won every world championship where he hasn't been the defending champion. This suggests two things: i) that he doesn't cope well with the pressure of being defending champion; ii) The Crucible always brings the best out of him. It's a paradox: on form he isn't favourite, but going off his record he probably is.

Anonymous said...

11:12 - Bang on !

Anonymous said...

1112, thanks for the inglish lesson and for proving yourself an ideeot.