Welsh Open 2010: Higgins Overcomes O'Sullivan

Congratulations to John Higgins who has reached his second ranking event final in succession now with a 6-4 victory over world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan…

During the first four frames the pair served up the kind of snooker that you would expect from surely the two best players in the world as they shared the spoils and headed into the break level at 2-2. Indeed John Higgins had just made a break of 138, the highest of the tournament so far and making it 3-3 when they resumed was beginning to look like the more solid player of the two.

This however prompted O’Sullivan to hit back in style, a break of 72 levelling things up before he capitalised on a bit of fortune from John with a break of 95 to move in front at 4-3. In first during frame eight it looked like for the first time he might be able to pull two clear at 5-3 but crucially he broke down on 45 and eventually Higgins managed to snatch it with a clearance of 55.

This proved to be a key moment in the match and from there on Ronnie was able to score just eight more points as John completed a 6-4 win and booked a place in the final in doing so.

Having won three of their four ranking event meetings this season and several others over the last few years I think it is fair to say that John has the upper hand over Ronnie at the moment, as Ali Carter pointed out this afternoon following his own semi-final triumph. What the victory also means is that John now leads Ronnie by over 8,000 points in the latest provisional rankings list with just two more events to come. If he can perform well out in China then he might event be able to secure top spot before the players head to Sheffield for the big one.

Of more immediate concern to John however will be tomorrow’s final where he will face defending champion Ali Carter. I am not sure of their head to head record up until this point but on current form it is a tough one to call, as most snooker finals tend to be these days! Ali will no doubt be pleased to avoid his nemesis O’Sullivan at least, though he did of course recently record his first ever victory over him in the Championship League at Crondon Park.

Hopefully the standard will be as good as it has been from the two all week…