Welsh Open 2011: Higgins Downs Captain

Photo by @markking147

John Higgins’ bid to win the Welsh Open title for a second successive year remains on track today following a 6-2 semi-final win over 2009 champion Ali Carter. More to follow shortly…

Welsh Open 2011 – Day Six Results:

John Higgins 6-2 Ali Carter
Stephen Maguire v Mark Selby

On paper this one looked to be tough to call but despite a bright start from the man dubbed The Captain, it was John Higgins who eventually powered through to yet another ranking event final.

With the memory of last year’s drubbing fresh in the mind, it is fair to say that Ali needed to make a good start today and he did exactly that with opening salvos of 23 and 118 to take the first frame. As he did yesterday though, Higgins bounced back by taking the next two, runs of 71 and 76 setting the tone before Ali levelled the match at the interval following a closer fourth frame.

From there however the match proved to be a one-sided affair as Higgins clinically took advantage of errors from Carter’s cue. Breaks of 69 and 55 moved the Scot 4-2 clear before a series of 20 and 30 breaks eventually got him over the line and through to another final.

It had not dawned on me until I read it over at Snooker Scene Blog this morning but since that memorable defeat to Steve Davis at the Crucible last April, Higgins is yet to lose a match in a full ranking event and although he is likely to lose the world number one spot at the end of this year, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the best player in the world at the moment.

For Ali it is a disappointing loss but he has at least recovered many of the ranking points lost now that those from his 2009 triumph have been removed from the tables and should head to China and the Crucible in good spirits.

Who will Higgins meet in the final?