John Higgins 9-4 Allister Carter
1st Session: 128(95)-0, 101(101)-1, 78(71)-24, 137(137)-0, 81(81)-48(38), 13-81(39,36), 94(59)-27, 54(54)-72(66)
2nd Session: 72(72)-33(33), 0-90(60), 72(72)-73(73), 76(40)-49(36), 76(76)-1
As is evident from the above frame scores, the damage was done in the first five frames for John Higgins as he managed to take all of them and build up a healthy advantage that he would manage until the conclusion of the match tonight.
That is not to say that John did not deserve his lead, indeed he was absolutely flawless during the first four frames in particular and with a pot success rate of 98% barely gave Carter a look-in. From there although Ali was able to improve and giving John a game, it was always going to be a tall order to recover from such a poor start, though had he been able to make it 7-5 heading into this evening’s mid-session interval it would have made things interesting.
For John this victory represents the first title of a staggeringly consistent season which looks sure to end with him as the world number one for what would be the fourth time. More on that in a separate post to follow tomorrow. It is hard to argue with the fact that he is the best player in the world right now and with the World Championship now on the horizon and a place in the winner’s group of the Championship League already assured he is well set for a big finish to a big season.
Ali meanwhile will be disappointed to have seen the defence of his Welsh Open title come to an end in this manner but the week undoubtedly has been the highlight of his season so far and pushes him up into 4th place on the latest provisional rankings list.