‘That is ridiculous’
John Higgins is known as The Wizard of Wishaw, and there seemed to be witchcraft on show during his win over Kyren Wilson in the second round of the World Snooker Championship.
Higgins produced a blistering display, which he said he was “over the moon” with, in wrapping up a 13-2 win with a session to spare.
His play was of the highest order, as he turned an 8-0 lead from the first session into a comprehensive victory.
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The Scot arguably did not need any help, so good was his play. But during the 13th frame, Higgins potted a ball that appeared to have no right to drop.
After dropping in a red, Higgins finished high on a black along the bottom rail.
As Neal Foulds said on Eurosport commentary, the pockets appeared very receptive at the Crucible this year.
There’s receptive, and there’s Higgins’ pot. After making contact, the black struck the cushion and Higgins walked away – feeling it would stay out.
But the four-time champion was halted in his tracks, as the black made its way slowly to the pocket, hit the jaws and dropped in.
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In commentary, Foulds said: “That is ridiculous.
“I have got to make a statement, and I don’t want to detract from any of the play as the standard has been brilliant and I don’t bang on about conditions, this table has played easy, very easy all week.
“That is not to say that these players are not brilliant at what they do, I am just making the point as that had no right to go in.”
After the match, Higgins admitted the black should never have made it into the pocket.
“That should never have gone in, my God,” Higgins said in the Eurosport studio. “It’s bad.”
As Foulds alluded to, Higgins suggested the pockets were playing easier than in previous years.
“I think all the players are feeling it, they are playing a little bit bigger than normal,” the four-time Crucible champion said.
Seeing the funny side, Higgins added: “You are going to get all the club players saying ‘see, we knew those bags were massive.’ They are maybe a little bit bigger than normal, and the cloth is really reactive so that has helped.”
Higgins can now look forward to a quarter-final against either Mark Selby or Gary Wilson.
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