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John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby SnookerFan

John Higgins returned to competitive action with a win in his first match since ending a six-month ban.

Scotland's three-time world champion beat Joe Jogia 4-2 in the first round of a European Tour Championship event in Hamm, Germany, on Friday.

Higgins, 35, was fined £75,000 and suspended in May for not reporting an illegal approach over match-fixing.

Ahead of his return he admitted: "I'm a bit nervous about how the [other] players are going to take to me."

Higgins will face Dave Harold in the next round of the three-day event and could face world number 16 Mark King if he makes the third round.

Neil Robertson, Graeme Dott, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan, are all involved of the event, in which all matches are the best of seven frames.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

Nervy Higgins Back To Winning Ways

John Higgins returned to competitive action at EPTC5 in Hamm - and proved that he can still cut the mustard.

Higgins beat Joe Jogia 4-2 in the first round in Germany to progress to a last 64 clash with Dave Harold later today.

The three-times World Champion from Wishaw admitted to being "very nervous" in playing his first professional match since losing to Steve Davis in the second round at the Crucible last April. He was subsequently banned from tournaments for six months following a Sport Resolutions UK hearing.

He got the better of a scrappy first frame 66-9, then showed a flash of form in the second with a trademark 50 clearance to win it on the black. Jogia took the next with a run of 88 then Higgins went 3-1 up in a fragmented fourth.

The Scot should have clinched victory in frame five but missed an easy final green and went in-off, allowing his opponent to clear to the pink. But Higgins settled the affair in the next with a handy break of 52.

"I was very rusty coming back into it but I thoroughly enjoyed it," said the 35-year-old. "I felt very nervous. Obviously it was the first match back, so hopefully I can play better. I found the nerves quite difficult but once you’re out there you try to concentrate on what’s at hand."

He even admitted the nerves were comparable to playing in a world final. "It was similar," he said. "Every match takes on its own importance and it was a big match for me. When you get down to the nitty-gritty and you’re faced with the pressure balls, then the nerves get to you a little bit. But apart from that I felt quite good."

There have been examples in sport of stars taking long breaks from their profession - enforced or otherwise - then needing months or even years to get back to their previous level. Golfer Lee Westwood dropped out of the world's top 250 after a long break following the birth of his first son in 2001. And Higgins confessed concern about his own game, having not picked up a cue for several months before the hearing.

"I was worried about it and I’m still worried about it," he said. "It’s probably the longest I’ve taken off so it’s going to be hard to get back into the swing of things, but the more matches I play, hopefully I’ll get back up to speed again. But I was confident this day would come."

Considered one of snooker's best ever tactical players, Higgins does not feel he has lost any of his strategic nous. "I hope I haven't lost that, if I have I’ll be in trouble!" he joked. "That’s always been my way about the table and hopefully I can keep it going."

Higgins will contest this EPTC event and the one in Prague next week, in order to gain match sharpness ahead of the 12BET.com UK Championship in December and the Masters in January. "I was thinking what to do and that seemed the best course of action – trying to get some matches under my belt in these two tournaments," he added. "We’re trying to get these smaller events going in the hope that they will grow into bigger tournaments. But it was just great to be out there playing. The conditions are still the same."



http://www.worldsnooker.com/PTC10_news% ... m?tid=192#

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby likelylad

StalinESQ wrote:very sad day for snooker......................especially for poor old AUSTRALIAN Quinten Hann, what a travesty that rules are bent, cover ups hatched and life goes on as if nothing happened. :idea: :wave: :idea: :wave:


hear hear! <ok>

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

John Higgins fired four breaks over 60 in an emphatic 4-0 defeat of Dave Harold as he continued his comeback at EPTC5 in Germany.
The Wizard of Wishaw admitted feeling nervous in a patchy performance against Joe Jogia earlier today, but his break-building class returned against Harold as he rattled in 66, 99, 72 and 93 to win in just 46 minutes. He will meet Martin Gould or Mark King in the last 32 later tonight.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Rocket_ron

likelylad wrote:
StalinESQ wrote:very sad day for snooker......................especially for poor old AUSTRALIAN Quinten Hann, what a travesty that rules are bent, cover ups hatched and life goes on as if nothing happened. :idea: :wave: :idea: :wave:


hear hear! <ok>

justice has been done...75k and 6 months ban for inocence... :chin: :chin: :chin: should be quits now.

what you have liked to have happened?

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Witz78

Ultimate_snooker wrote:
likelylad wrote:
StalinESQ wrote:very sad day for snooker......................especially for poor old AUSTRALIAN Quinten Hann, what a travesty that rules are bent, cover ups hatched and life goes on as if nothing happened. :idea: :wave: :idea: :wave:


hear hear! <ok>

justice has been done...75k and 6 months ban for inocence... :chin: :chin: :chin: should be quits now.

what you have liked to have happened?


innocence b0llocks.

take the blinkers off and wake up and smell the coffee.

Its a conspiracy by you know who !!!

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Rocket_ron

Witz78 wrote:Its a conspiracy by you know who !!!

Who?

its obvious higgins was going along with it and he has been punished for that...75k 6 months ban and loss of number 1 ranking

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby randam05

Sonny wrote:Higgins is a class snooker player. Someone say otherwise.
#

Theres no doubt hes a class player! best of the naughties in my opinion.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

Who are the opposition to that statement? Williams and O'Sullivan. Actually I don't know because at the start of the decade they were firmly in the "Big Four" along with Hendry, then Williams dominated the early years, Higgins dominated the end years with a bit of weirdness going on in the middle and Ronnie was consistent throughout. At their best these 3 share the spoils for me as player of the last decade.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby randam05

Sonny wrote:Who are the opposition to that statement? Williams and O'Sullivan. Actually I don't know because at the start of the decade they were firmly in the "Big Four" along with Hendry, then Williams dominated the early years, Higgins dominated the end years with a bit of weirdness going on in the middle and Ronnie was consistent throughout. At their best these 3 share the spoils for me as player of the last decade.


Fair comment sonny. Agreed. Williams ronnie and higgins = classy

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Tubberlad

randam05 wrote:
Sonny wrote:Higgins is a class snooker player. Someone say otherwise.
#

Theres no doubt hes a class player! best of the naughties in my opinion.

Oh don't get me going Randam <laugh> I get very defensive of Ronnie with comments like that

Higgins though is a superb snooker player, and I'm very proud to have seen him play. I don't expect him to win any more World titles, I won't be cheering him to do so as I've never been a huge fan, but I have great respect for him as a player. A really wonderful player.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

It's part of the fascination. When you're young like you randam you hear of the players past, and you follow the players present and when you start you get the established and the new and before you know it you're looking back at the players who you knew as young at the end of their careers. In 2000 it was commonly thought that Higgins, Williams and O'Sullivan would domiante the naughties and at the end of the decade it turned out to be true, but how it panned out is completely different to how anyone thought it would 10 years ago.

I wonder what the next 10 years holds...

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Tubberlad

I started following in 1999 when Ronnie, Williams & Higgins were being touted as being the new young force, and I've got to say it feels a bit surreal to hear people saying this three are in the twilight of their careers...

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby randam05

Sonny wrote:It's part of the fascination. When you're young like you randam you hear of the players past, and you follow the players present and when you start you get the established and the new and before you know it you're looking back at the players who you knew as young at the end of their careers. In 2000 it was commonly thought that Higgins, Williams and O'Sullivan would domiante the naughties and at the end of the decade it turned out to be true, but how it panned out is completely different to how anyone thought it would 10 years ago.

I wonder what the next 10 years holds...


Hmm, since ive been watching it has been higgins ronnie and robertson dominating..But I watch an awful lot of previous matches, but I dont properly know how good the likes of davis alex thorne and players like that were. Its a shame..I really could not say who will dominate next few years.. Murphy and robertson be my bets. But im hoping selby too.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

I would say Murphy, Robertson, Selby and Ding will be the prominent 4 of this decade and at the end of it I obviously hope Selby will come out with more titles because I think he's the best of them, but it'll be fun finding out and I'm hope I'm still here and Snooker Island is still here to reassess when the time comes. Real life has an annoying habit of interfering with things.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Tubberlad

Sonny wrote:I would say Murphy, Robertson, Selby and Ding will be the prominent 4 of this decade and at the end of it I obviously hope Selby will come out with more titles because I think he's the best of them, but it'll be fun finding out and I'm hope I'm still here and Snooker Island is still here to reassess when the time comes. Real life has an annoying habit of interfering with things.

I'm certainly in agreement with your 'prominent four'. At this juncture, Robertson has got the upper hand on them, Ding looks threatening albeit on an inconsistent basis, Murphy has struggled to kick on from his World win and again, struggles to really keep a good run of form going, while Selby needs to learn to bring his a-game to EVERY game if he's to win tournaments.

I'm backing all four to win at least one world title this decade, and all four to sort whatever problems they may have now.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

On the subject of Robbo and Selby - I'm still concerned that I come across as anti-Robbo when I go off on one about him and Selby but really I love watching him and think he fully deserves his status as World Champ and WN1. What I'm getting at is that had Selby got there first and Robbo was still chasing, then maybe Selby would be in a better position to go on and dominate. Having already got things under your belt gives you a distinct advantage over those who haven't and that's why Dott managed to hold off Selby in the semis for example.

So in effect I agree that Robbo has the advantage. Murphy almost needs to prove himself by winning the Worlds again but this time with a safety game and the top players of the day on form, Robbo needs to win a 2nd to really put himself beyond criticism and Selby and Ding need to win it to get their names into the mix.

The 2011 and 2012 World Championships will be important events in determining how the decade will pan out. And to those who say the Worlds should be reduced

:bird:

for the very reasons that I have stated. If you shorten the only event that matters, then you will warp history.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Tubberlad

Sonny wrote:for the very reasons that I have stated. If you shorten the only event that matters, then you will warp history.

<ok>
Which is why I'm so opposed to it. I'm going to make a grim prediction though: the players and pundits are working as a mouthpiece, and a reduction is on the way. Which will be an utter disaster. No exaggeration.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Roland

The players should have no say in the matter. They are there to play, not to determine the format. It's down to Hearn ultimately that the WCs format remains as it is and if I ever meet the man it will be one of the first things I talk to him about.

Re: John Higgins wins on return to action

Postby Tubberlad

Sonny wrote:The players should have no say in the matter. They are there to play, not to determine the format. It's down to Hearn ultimately that the WCs format remains as it is and if I ever meet the man it will be one of the first things I talk to him about.

I've always backed the man, I think he's done a stunning job thus far, but it would genuinely be dismantled if the worlds were reduced.