John Higgins

JOHN HIGGINS (1.975)

John Higgins

Scottish professional snooker player. Since he became a professional in 1.992, has won 27 títulos de ranking: including four World Championships and three UK Championship, as well as two Masters titles, making him one of the most successful players in the modern history of the sport.

Honours: four times World Champion, three-time UK Championship Champion, two-time Masters Champion, four-time Grand Prix Champion, four-time British Open Champion, four-time Welsh Open Champion.

Regarding the world titles of the modern era, Higgins is fifth behind Stephen Hendry (7), Steve Davis (6), Ray Reardon (6) y Ronnie O’Sullivan (5). Regarding the ranking titles, Higgins is third with O'Sullivan (27), behind Hendry (36) and Davis (28). Known as a prolific break builder, has done 585 hundreds in the professional tournament, placing him in third place behind O'Sullivan and Hendry. He has also got 7 maximum breaks in competition, which places him third behind O'Sullivan (13) y Hendry (11). During 16 consecutive seasons (since 1.996/1.997 a 2.011/2.012), Higgins never fell below sixth in the rankings, and it was number 1 of the world four times.

In 2.010, the News of the World carried out a sting operation on a hotel room in Ukraine, which was intended to show that Higgins, and his then manager, organizing the loss of specific frames in future matches in exchange for money. Although an investigation cleared the allegations of match-fixing, it was concluded that he had discredited the sport for not having reported on the matter, giving the impression of agreeing with it, and that it was an invitation to break the sports betting rules. The WPBSA prohibited Higgins from competing professionally for six months and imposed a fine of 75.000 pounds. He returned to competition mid-season 2.010/2.011.

After his return to snooker, Higgins added a third UK Championship title and claimed his fourth world title in 2.011. Later, experienced a slump in his form, and between 2.012 Y 2.014, only won the Shanghai Masters of 2.012. But nevertheless, in 2015 Higgins returned to the path of triumph, winning both the Welsh Open and the Australian Goldfields Open.

Higgins turned pro in 1.992 and reached the quarter-finals of the British Open in his first season on the professional circuit. Rose to fame in the season 1.994/1.995, when with 19 years old he won his first ranking tournament at the Grand Prix, derrotando a Dave Harold 9-6 in the end. He won two more ranking titles: British Open y el International Open, becoming the first teenager to win three ranking tournaments in one season, and also reached the final of the Welsh Open and the Masters. At the end of the season, had passed the post 51 al 11 in the world ranking. By the end of the next season, helped by two other ranking titles and another final, got number 2 of the world. In the final of the UK Championship of 1.996, I was losing 4-8 against Stephen Hendry but came back to force the decision and finally lost the match by 9-10.

In 1.998, Higgins won his first World Championship, beating Jason Ferguson, Anthony Hamilton, John Parrott y Ronnie O’Sullivan, before defeating defending champion Ken Doherty 18-12 in the end. Achieved the record of 14 hundreds in the tournament (an achievement that was later overshadowed by Hendry, Who did 16 hundreds in the World Championship 2.002). After winning the world title, Higgins became number 1 the world for the first time in his career, ending Stephen Hendry's eight-year dominance at the top of the rankings.

During the season 1.998/1.999, Higgins won the UK Championship and the Masters with 10-6 Y 10-8 opposite Matthew Stevens and Ken Doherty, respectively, to become the third player after Davis and Hendry to win the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters simultaneously (Mark Williams joined this elite group later). In addition, is one of only five players to have won both the World Championship and the UK Championship in the same calendar year (1.998); the others are Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Parrott y Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Higgins remained as number 1 of the world for two years, being replaced by Mark Williams at the end of the season 1.999/2.000. Higgins and Williams met at the Grand Prix final in 1.999, donde Higgins, that I was losing for 2- 6, came back and ended up winning the title for 9-8; in the semifinal of the World Championship 2.000, where Higgins was defeated 15-17; and in the final of the UK Championship of 2.000, Higgins won by a margin of 10-4 and thus got his second title in this tournament. This same year he made his first 147 frente to Dennis Taylor in the Nations Cup.

He reached the final of the World Championship in 2.001, but he lost 14-18 against Ronnie O’Sullivan. Early in the season 2.001/2.002, Higgins became the first player to win the first three tournaments of the season: la Champions Cup, el Scottish Masters (both events by invitation) and the British Open.

In the final of the Grand Prix in 2.005, Higgins beat Ronnie O'Sullivan by 9-2. In this way, became the first player to score four hundred in a row in a ranking tournament, with breaks of 103, 104, 138 Y 128 in the frames of 7 al 10. Higgins obtuvo 494 unanswered points, which was then a record (Ding Junhui logró 495 points against Stephen Hendry in the Premier League in 2.007).

Higgins and O'Sullivan also met in the finals of the Masters of 2.005 Y 2.006. Higgins was defeated 3-10 in 2.005. In 2.006, lost the first three frames, but won the next five, getting an advantage after the first session. O'Sullivan was more stable in the night session and the game went to the decisive frame. With a break of 60, O'Sullivan missed a red and Higgins did a cleanup 64 to win 10-9 and claim the title a second time.

In the World Championship of 2.007, Higgins defeated Michael Holt, Fergal O’Brien, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Maguire on their way to the final. Su break de 122 in the frame 29 of his semifinal against Maguire, was the hundred number 1.000 that was obtained in the Crucible, since the World Championship premiered there in 1.977. In the end, Higgins finished the first day with a 12-4 sobre Mark Selby, but Selby reduced it to a single frame on the second day. But nevertheless, being 14-13, Higgins won four consecutive frames to clinch the game 18-13 and secure his second World Title at 12:54 am, the latest time to finish a World Championship final (even when Neil Robertson beat Graeme Dott in 2.010); and nine years after his first degree, the longest time span between hits since Alex Higgins (1972-1982), and the longest period of time in a Crucible finale. He regained his position in the world ranking as a number 1.

Here is the video of the confrontation between Higgins and O'Sullivan.

As World Champion, Higgins only reached the quarter-final stages at the Welsh Open] and the China Open. Helped actively create and promote the World Series of Snooker, a tour aimed at taking snooker to new places outside of the traditional UK and into the newly developed Far Eastern markets. Won the inaugural tournament in St. Helier, in June 2.008, beating Mark Selby in the final by 6-3. Higgins also devised a new union for players with his manager Pat Mooney., called "Snooker Players Association". Won the Grand Prix for the fourth time this year 2.008, beating Ryan Day by 9-7 in the Glasgow final (his first victory in a ranking tournament in his homeland).

In the World Championship of 2.009, Higgins defeated Michael Holt 10-5 first round. Their second round and the quarterfinal match, against Jamie Cope and Mark Selby respectively, they played 25 frames, with a Higgins tracing a marker of 10-12, a favor de Cope, and another from 11-12, a favor de Selby, to win both games by 13-12. In the semifinal against Mark Allen he won the match by 17-13. Higgins won 18-9 Shaun Murphy in the final and became the ninth player to win the title three or more times (behind Joe Davis, Fred Davis, John Pulman, John Spencer, Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry y Ronnie O’Sullivan). He joined Steve Davis, Hendry and O'Sullivan as the only players to have lifted the trophy three or more times in the Crucible. Two weeks before your 34 birthday, Higgins became the oldest player to win the tournament since Dennis Taylor in 1.985, who did it to 36 years.

In season 2.009/2.010, as current World Champion, lost 5-6 frente to Neil Robertson in the semifinal del Grand Prix; Y 8-10 vs. Ding Junhui in the UK Championship final, after defeating Ricky Walden (9-7), Neil Robertson (9-8), Liang Wenbo (9-2) y Ronnie O’Sullivan (9-8). Won the Welsh Open title by defeating Allister Carter 9-4 in the end, and the season ended as a number 1 of the world, despite a defeat by 11-13 against Steve Davis in the second round of the World Championship.

He 2 May 2.010, Higgins and his manager, Pat Mooney, WPBSA board member, were the subject of match-fixing accusations after being recorded in an operation carried out by the now-defunct News of the World newspaper. An undercover News of the World team, led by Mazher Mahmood, posing as promoters, met with Higgins and his manager, he 30 of April, in a hotel room in Kiev under the pretext of organizing a series of tournaments linked to the World Series of Snooker. The newspaper claimed Higgins and Mooney had agreed to lose four frames in four different tournaments., in exchange for a full payment of 300.000 euros and discussed the mechanics of how to rig a frame, tournaments and opponents to choose, and how to transfer the money to Higgins. Higgins was immediately suspended from the game and Mooney resigned from his position on the WPBSA board.. Higgins issued a statement on the matter the same day, denying having been involved in match-fixing, and explained that he decided “play along” out of fear for your safety, on suspicion of the involvement of the Russian mafia.

A full investigation was carried out into the claims of David Douglas (a former chief detective superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, and the head of the WPBSA discipline committee). An independent court, chaired by Ian Mill, agreed that the WPBSA was correct in concluding that Higgins had told the truth of his words and actions, and by dropping the most serious charges of match-fixing, but found him guilty of “give the impression”That it could violate the betting rules, and not to communicate the statement made by the News of the World. Higgins was suspended for six months, retroactive to the beginning of your suspension period, this is, he had already completed four months so he could return to competition in November, and was fined with 75.000 pounds.

Higgins returned to professional competition on 12 November 2.010 at the Ruhr Championship and won the tournament beating Shaun Murphy 4-2 in the end. His winning streak continued at the Prague Classic (EPTC6), where he reached the end again, but he lost 3-4 against Michael Holt.

At the UK Championship, his first tournament on British soil since his return, reached his third consecutive final. He defended himself from a 2-7 and a 5-9 down against Mark Williams. Made a break from 68 in the decider, and sealed a victory of 10-9 with a double on the brown ball. Winning his third UK Championship title, Higgins became the fourth player (after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry y Ronnie O’Sullivan) to win the second highest ranking tournament in snooker three or more times. As a result of your progress in all three tournaments, where he won 18 from 19 matches, Higgins earned enough points to regain his position as a number 1 of the world.

Higgins lost in the first round of the Masters 4-6 against Graeme Dott and withdrew from the German Masters after defeating Robert Milkins 5-3 in the first round, to return home due to his father's deteriorating health, who subsequently died after a long battle with cancer. Little more than two weeks later, Higgins successfully defended his title at the Welsh Open by defeating Stephen Maguire 9-6 in the end, dedicating the victory to his late father.

Higgins won the Hainan Classic, defeating Jamie Cope in the final. Reached the China Open quarterfinals, where he lost 2-5 contra Shaun Murphy. The next tournament was the Scottish Professional Championship, where he defeated Anthony McGill 6-1 in the end.

World Championship, Higgins derrotó a Stephen Lee (10-5) first round, Rory McLeod (13-7) in the second round and Ronnie O'Sullivan (13-10) in quarterfinals. On the way to his victory over Mark Williams (17-14) in the semifinals, Higgins was interrupted by a bystander, who screamed: “¿How do you swallow those three hundred thousand, John? You are a disgrace to the snooker.” Higgins derrotó a Judd Trump 18-15 in the final to win his fourth world title, which led Steve Davis to comment “I think John Higgins is the best snooker player I have ever seen.“. Despite the victory, Higgins lost number one in the world rankings.

Higgins had a poor stint in 2.011/2.012, reaching only two quarterfinals of the main ranking tournaments. His best performance was reaching the semi-finals of the Masters. Before the start of the World Championship title defense, admitted that his performance levels had not been good enough. In the first round of the tournament he defeated Liang Wenbo 10-9. Then he played Stephen Hendry in the second round, the first time the two players met at a World Championship, but Hendry thrashed the defending champion by 13-4, and Higgins said this game was the worst he had ever played at the Crucible. Finished season ranked number five in the world.

Higgins started the season 2.012/2.013, winning his title 25 ranking in the Shanghai Masters, after trailing 2-7 to end up defeating Judd Trump 10-9 in the end.

During this final he made a maximum break in the sixth frame, when I was losing 0-5.

In the second round of the UK Championship, playing against Mark Davis closed the game by doing another 147.

She also won the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy tournament, derrotando a Trump 4-2 in the end, and reached the final of the Bulgarian Open, where he lost 0-4 frente a Trump. However the season, since then, it was another disappointment for Higgins, that lost 3-4 against amateur Jordan Brown at the Scottish Open and reached just another semi-final of a ranking tournament: el Open World , that he lost for 2-6 versus Mark Allen. He left the World Championship in the first round, losing 6-10 against Mark Davis. Later, admitted that doubts about whether he could stay on top of the sport after 20 years as a professional had affected his form. He finished the season in the position 11 del ranking, off the top 10 for the first time in 17 seasons.

Playing with a new cue, Higgins started the season 2.013/2.014 hard, winning the Bulgarian Open with a victory of 4-1 about Neil Robertson in the final, after defeating Shaun Murphy and Ronnie O'Sullivan during the tournament. This victory briefly allowed him to regain his top ranking 10. Made it to the final of the first ranking tournament of the season, the Wuxi Classic, where he lost 7-10 against Robertson. His form was deteriorating again and he suffered the first losses in a series of minor-ranking tournaments.. Changed his cue again before defending his title at the Shanghai Masters, but he lost 1-5 against Mark Davis in the second round. His Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy title defense ended when he was defeated 0-4 por Andrew Higginson. Lost 2-4 against Ding Junhui in the second round of the Indian Open 2.013, and also against Matthew Stevens in the International Championship of 2.013 by 2-6. In the Champion of Champions tournament, lost 3-4 in the first round against Stephen Maguire.

Higgins switched taco one more time before the UK Championship, but he kept fighting in his matches, qualifying his lack of form as “boring.” Referring to Higgins' frequent cue swings, the World Champion of 1.986 and tv commentator, Joe Johnson, claimed he was “looking for something or someone to blame” for its lack of form. Higgins responded that players in the Johnson era had struggled to break 30 oh 40 on tables with much larger pockets, and rated Johnson as one of the worst commentators on the sport. After the UK Championship it fell to the number 12 in the world ranking.

Before the Masters, Higgins revealed that he had arrived at “depths of despair” after the UK Championship, after spending months “In crisis”. He also revealed that he had switched taco, recovered its rhythm, and I felt like I was playing better than I had in a long time. Derrotó a Stuart Bingham 6-2 first round, but he lost 5-6 in the quarterfinals against defending champion Mark Selby.

At the German Masters, Higgins lost to Dominic Dale. En el Welsh Open, derrotó a Judd Trump 4-3 in eighth, but he lost 1-5 against Ronnie O ‘ Sullivan in the quarterfinals. And el World Open, but he lost 3-5 against defending champion Mark Allen in the quarterfinals. Achieved a third consecutive qualification in the quarterfinals of the tournament in the PTC, losing to Marco Fu. At the China Open, lost to Ding Junhui eighth. He suffered a second consecutive start in the first round of the World Championship, when he lost to fellow Scotsman Alan McManus. After the match, Higgins suggested that he no longer considered himself among the top contenders in tournaments.. Season ended as number 11 of the world, the lowest position you have been in at the end of a season in 19 years.

Higgins did not impress in the ranking tournaments in the season opener 2.014/2.015, losing to Alan McManus at the Wuxi Classic, against Robert Milkins at the Australian Goldfields Open and against Ryan Day at the Shanghai Masters. He defended his title at the Bulgarian Open, but he lost to Judd Trump. He also lost in the International Championship to Li Cuelgue. Lost to Barry Hawkins in the first round of the Champion of Champions and at the Ruhr Open, where he failed to score a single point on his way to defeat against Marco Fu, who surpassed Higgins by a total of 412 points to 0.

Higgins reached the UK Championship defeating Lee Walker, Jamie Cope and Matthew Stevens to reach eighth, where he lost to fellow Scotsman Anthony McGill. This was enough to keep him inside the top 16, in the number 14. In the Masters, faced Mark Allen in the first round. Even though he made three hundred Higgins lost the match.

At the German Masters, Higgins lost to Peter Ebdon in the first round, but showed better form and confidence at the Welsh Open, where he defeated Stephen Maguire in the quarterfinals, Luca Brecel in the semifinals and Ben Woollaston 9-3 in the end, to claim the record for the fourth Welsh Open title and his first ranking title in two and a half years.

In the eighth of the Indian Open, suffered a sixth consecutive loss to Mark Davis, scoring only 38 points in the match. Lost to Graeme Dott at the World Grand Prix, and also against Stephen Maguire at the Players Championship Grand Final. At the China Open, reached the quarterfinals, defeating Dott and Trump along the way, but he lost against Ding Junhui. World Championship, Higgins won his first match at the Crucible since 2.012 with a win over Robert Milkins, but he lost 9-13 vs. Ding Junhui in the second round, despite winning 5 of the 6 first frames.

Higgins started the season 2.015/2.016 with very good feelings, ganando el Australian Goldfields Open, first ranking tournament of the season, in an intense and exciting finale against Martin Gould for 9-8. It will surely not be the last time we see Higgins contest a ranking final this season..

Higgins was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) at 2.008.

See also

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