Indian Open Snooker: Higgins beats Mcgill to take title

John Higgins, the four-time world champion, notched up a 5-1 win against defending champion Anthony McGill in the best-of-nine frame final.

Higgins, ranked World No. 3, was confidence personified right through, compiling significant breaks even as the opponent struggled to get his famed rhythm.   -  K R Deepak

In an all-Scottish final, it was the experience and class of John Higgins which prevailed over defending champion Anthony McGill, as the four-time world champion notched up a 5-1 win in the best-of-nine frame final of the fourth Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament at the Novotel Hotel here on Saturday night. 

By the standards, 26-year-old McGill set right through this edition, it was a comparatively erratic display tonight with three fouls in the first frame, two in the fifth and then another crucial one in the sixth frame. 

It was not the kind of start McGill, ranked World No. 18, would have hoped for as his potting too was awry even as safety play was the emphasis predictably for both the champion players to start with. 

On the other hand, the 42-year-old  Higgins, ranked World No. 3, was confidence personified right through, compiling significant breaks even as the opponent struggled to get his famed rhythm.

It was clearly a story of missed chances for McGill and a brilliant show by Higgins who virtually dished out an object lesson in the art of scoring and safety play to keep the rival at bay.  

"I tried my best. I don't think the long semifinal was an issue. It actually helped me. No pressure on me being the title-holder. It is just John is one of the best players of all time, I just couldn't do much," McGill remarked later on. 

McGill survives in semis  

Earlier in a marathon semifinal lasting three-and-a-half hours, Anthony McGill seized on the opportunities that came his way in the crucial deciding frame to clinch an intensely fought match against Englishman Mark King 4-3.  

In the other semifinal, John Higgins showed his class to down the highly talented Chinese Xu Si 4-2.   

The results:

Final: John Higgins (Sco) bt Anthony McGill (Sco) 70-2, 84-43, 28-78, 71 (71)-0, 71-35, 104-1. 

Semifinals: Anthony McGill (Sco) bt Mark King (Eng) 39-68, 76-31, 67-71, 68-28, 1-126 (98), 85 (68)-5, 69 (55)-30; John Higgins (Sco) bt Xu Si (Chn) 0-82, 64-12, 67-14, 18- 92 (91), 120 (102)-13, 78-5.