Today we see a different John Higgins, he won his long awaited second World title in 2007 and followed that up with his third in 2009. In 2006 he added his 2nd Masters Crown and just last week won, one of the greatest matches of all time to lift his 3rd UK championship after a 10 year wait.
People often talk about Hendry v’s O’Sullivan, but in truth John Higgins is a lot closer to Ronnie than Ronnie is to Hendry, given this I can’t understand why so many Ronnie fans are up in arms at the mere mention of Higgins in the same breath as Ronnie.
For sure at the minute Ronnies career achievements are greater, of that there is no doubt. However over the last few years John has been closing the gap and it looks like he will continue to do so. In the last two years Ronnie has failed to life a major title whilst John has won a World and UK Championship.
They are now level on ranking titles and given Ronnie’s uncertainly over travel I think it’s more likely that John will finish his career with more in that column.
Standard of play, people often talk about Ronnies second session against Hendry at the 08 WC. Ronnie produced his best ever snooker and it was magical, snooker cannot be played any better. Equally snooker cannot be played any better than John Higgins 400+ points without reply against Ronnie in the GP final of 06
Unlike Ronnie and Hendry, the gap between John and Ronnie is that close by the end of this season John could overshadow O’Sullivan’s title achievements.
The World Championship is the panicle of the sport, it is what defines true greatness within the sport. Unlike the Ronnie/Hendry debate, era cannot come into this as they both turned pro at the same time, currently John has a slightly better record at the crucible, but its not enough to overshadow the other aspects of what Ronnie has achieved.
However if John were to add a 4th World Title compared to Ronnies 3, well it would be more clear that John’s success would be propelled. Some people forget about the significance of the World championship within the sport, masters and Uk’s are all and good but it’s the World’s that define your greatness.
Just look at Matthew Stevens, I am sure you wouldn’t have to ask him twice to swap his Masters and UK titles for one World title.
There are certain departments John will not overtake Ronnie in
The masters aside, so what about the rest? Centuries are great but they don’t but titles on the board. Just ask mark Williams who was one frame away from winning the second biggest title in the sport without making one century.
Head to head – when it comes down to the important matches John seems to have the edge with a lead of 15-9 in Ranking and Masters matches.
We are blessed to still have these two greats at the top of the game, but let’s not forget the gap is closing.
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