Higgins Tour Championship
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John Higgins Fights Back in Tour Championship

John Higgins advanced to the semi-finals of the Tour Championship after a 10-9 victory over Zhao Xintong on Monday.

The Scot was nowhere near his best but battled strongly in the closing stages to complete a stirring comeback at the Venue Cymru.

Higgins, who only just squeaked into the Tour Championship in the eighth and final spot on the one-year rankings, looked out of it when he trailed 8-4.

After establishing a 5-3 first-session advantage, UK and German Masters champion Zhao appeared to grasp further control of the contest in the second session.

Higgins had briefly pulled it back to within one, but Zhao then won the next four frames to move to within two of the next round.

Getting into the position of defeating Higgins and carrying it through are two very different things, however.

The Scot dug deep and strung together five frames on the bounce to transform his deficit into a 9-8 lead.

Zhao was able to regather himself and force a decider, but after the balls went scrappy there was always likely to be only one outcome.

So it proved, with the experienced Higgins moving forward to the last four in Llandudno where he’ll meet either Judd Trump or Luca Brecel.

Higgins was not pleased with his performance but happy to survive the test, and it maintains his aspirations of landing a second £150,000 windfall in as many weeks.

After the climax to the Gibraltar Open last weekend, Higgins was the player ranked in first place on the European Series order of merit and duly collected the £150,000 bonus there.

The same significant amount of prize money is on offer for the Tour Championship winner this week.

On Tuesday, Australia’s Neil Robertson will begin his defence against Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in a blockbuster battle.

Live coverage in the UK is on ITV4, with other options available around the world that you can find by clicking here.

Tour Championship Draw

Zhao Xintong (1) 9-10 John Higgins (8)
Luca Brecel (5) vs Judd Trump (4)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (3) vs Mark Williams (6)
Mark Allen (7) vs Neil Robertson (2)

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. Adam Holmes

    Surely, it’s about time for Rob Walker to start introducing him as John “Houdini” Higgins. The Wizard of Wishaw doesn’t quite describe him! As a neutral, I have to admire him, albeit slightly grudgingly at times, especially when he does this to a player who I like!

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