Higgins victorious despite impressive comeback from Day

On October 21, 2008 by

This weekend saw John Higgins win his first ranking event for a year and a half following victory over the impressive Ryan Day at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix. Held in Glasgow, the competition win was the Scot’s first success in his home country, his nineteenth ranking title, and his fourth Grand Prix crown.

Higgins had not won a snooker title since his victory in the World Championship in the summer of 2007 and was desperate to make an impression in this competition.

However, the match did not all go John Higgins’ way. Indeed, Ryan Day, who was fighting for his first ranking title in just his third final, gave Higgins a real scare with an impressive comeback.

Day was keen to win his first ranking title following unfortunate defeats in his previous two finals, held in Malta and Shanghai.

The Scot was in good form during the opening session and managed to open up a 5-2 lead. Higgins seemed to be competing on a different level to Day, who was being truly humbled by the Scot’s magnificent performance.

He managed to amass four breaks of over 50, the best being an 85 in just the second frame. Higgins continued to extend his lead over the world’s eighth best snooker player, bringing the score to 7-2. However, at this point, Day seemed to remember where he was and what he was fighting for.

Five out of the following six frames were won by the Welshman and the match was delicately poised at 8-7 following a break of 83 from Day. However, Higgins managed to overcome Day’s inspiring comeback, which was sadly too little too late for the Welshman. The match ultimately finished 9-7 to Higgins.

Snooker pundits were quick to point out that Day must have been exhausted following his tense semi-final victory over Ali Carter. However, the Welshman refused to use exhaustion as an excuse and managed to be truly magnanimous in defeat.

Day berated himself for being

O’Sullivan Down and Out in China

On October 14, 2008 by

Ronnie O’Sullivan, the world’s number one snooker player, has lost out on a £52,000 prize fund after losing 10-8 to Englishman, Ricky Walden, in the Shanghai Masters tournament. O’Sullivan said that his defeat was a disappointment but nothing less than he deserved: "There’s no excuse. I just have to keep working hard and hope the results come."

Walden is currently ranked 17th in the world (up from 35th) and performed consistently well in both the Belgium Open and in a second Chinese tournament contested last July. Despite being handed abysmal odds by the bookies, Walden squashed both Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis on his way to the final. The youngster also secured convincing victories against Australian player, Neil Robertson, and Masters Champion, Mark Selby.

Walden’s victory in China marked the first time that he has won a major tournament since he turned professional. The former under-21 champion is planning to take his friends to Las Vegas to celebrate his recent success but has made no joke about the difficult task ahead of him. His recent run of form has given him a lot of confidence in his abilities but he is aware that his fans will expect bigger and greater things from him in the future.

The Glasgow Grand Prix began on Saturday 11th October and has since seen both Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis progress to the second round. Unfortunately, despite his performance at the Shanghai Masters, Ricky Walden lost 5-4 in a difficult match against world number 8, Ryan Day. Ronnie O’Sullivan will face 21 year old Chinese player, Liang Wenbo, later today (14th October).