Friday, 20 April 2012

Higginson targets long Crucible run

Andrew Higginson is looking forward to playing in his second World Championship, three years after making his first appearance at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

The 34-year-old from Widnes suffered a first-round exit in 2009, when he was  beaten 10-8 by the then-world number three, Shaun Murphy.

He set up a match with Stephen Lee, on Monday, by seeing off Peter Lines in this year’s final qualifying round. Higginson is currently a 40/1 snooker bet for the World Championship title.

Higginson has faced Lee eight times in his career, and he trails 5-3 in matches. He is confident he can go a long way in the tournament.

He said: “You want to be in the top 16 but, when you see Ronnie O’Sullivan ranked there, then you realise the standard.

Shaun Murphy won it in 2005, and he was ranked in the 40s. So, it is not out of the question for players outside the top 16 to win it.

“I have proved it in the past that I can play at the highest level and hold my own with some of the greatest players in the world.”

Higginson, who reached a ranking high of 19, last year, claimed his first professional title this season, winning event five on the Players Tour Championship. He defeated Ian McCulloch, Dave Harold, Jack Lisowski, and John Higgins along the way.

Another of his career highlights came last year, when he beat Peter Ebdon at the last-32 stage of the UK Championship.

He also won through to the Welsh Open final in 2007, only to lose 9-8 to Neil Robertson. On his way to the final, Higginson defeated Marco Fu, Higgins, Michael Judge, Ali Carter, and Stephen Maguire.

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