China Open 2009: Classy Higgins into another final

It was a good effort from Ryan Day but in the end it was John Higgins who for the second time this season was just too strong for him and will now meet Peter Ebdon in the final…

Evening Session


John Higgins 6-4 Ryan Day
17-70(39), 14-66(32), 128(121)-0, 15-74(68), 80(76)-0, 65(64)-19, 90(65)-15, 74(46)-0, 19-99(52), 110(110)-24

The second semi-final was a match of two halves, but in the end it was John Higgins who came through to move into his 32nd career ranking event final where he will face Peter Ebdon.

Early on however it looked as if he would face an uphill struggle as he struggled to settle in the first couple of frames and Ryan moved into a 2-0 lead. Though John responded well with century number 403 in the third frame, Ryan restored his advantage at the interval and looked to be well placed to gain some revenge over the man who ended his hopes in the final of the Grand Prix.

What a difference an interval can make though as John came out and immediately started to score heavily and win frames in one visit. Runs of 76, 64, 65 and 46 turned the match completely on its head as he went into the lead at 5-3 and though Ryan pulled one back and had a chance in frame 10 to force a decider, a very poor miss on a straightforward red to the left-centre presented John with a golden opportunity which he duly took with his second century of the match.

When he went into the interval 4-0 down to Anthony Hamilton earlier on the week, few would have believed that he would be in the final now but it just goes to show how you can never say never in the sport. John is such a classy player when he plays like this and for me will go into the final as a very slight favourite, though the way Peter has played this week I would not be surprised if he won either! In terms of ranking points this is another boost for John and win or lose tomorrow, actually moves him up into top spot on the one-year list, as well as fifth on the two-year list back above Ryan Day.

Speaking of Day, his wait for that elusive first ranking event title will now go on for another tournament and given how he has played this week, I expect that he will be really disappointed to lose in the manner that he did, particularly from 3-1 up. Still, having had a poor run since the Grand Prix he has at least got some more ranking points on the board and more important, has given himself a confidence boost going into the all-important World Championship.