This World Snooker Championship has produced a series of shocks all the way through, but thankfully we’ve ended up with a final in Judd Trump v John Higgins that is fit to grace this wonderful theatre at the Crucible.
Trump hasn’t been totally convincing in this tournament so far. His long game hasn’t been brilliant and he’s been playing in fits and starts. He came through his opening round 10-9 against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and then 13-9 against Ding Junhui in the second round. Stephen Maguire was too volatile to challenge him in the quarters, while Gary Wilson gave him a run for a bit in the semi-finals.
He’s playing alright, but not as good as when he won The Masters. He is still in there with a major chance of being champion on Monday though.
As for John Higgins, he’s beat Mark Davis in the first round, then he saw off Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson after that. His semi-final was an absolute classic though, how he beat David Gilbert in that match I will never know. In session two Higgins was gone, he looked like he was running on fumes.
But, he just doesn’t know how to get beat and he just hung on in there, Higgins produced a 139 to go 16-16 and managed to play a brilliant final frame to get through.
You are always on a runner when you back John Higgins!
2011 final rematch
Judd Trump may still have that wide-open style, but he’s a better and more accomplished player now than he was back then. When these two play in long matches – and they’ve played twice at the Crucible – it is always close. Higgins beat Trump 13-12 in a quarter-final before, as well as that 18-15 win for the Scot in the 2011 final.
Their games sort of match-up, they give each other a really good hard test and they usually go near a final frame decider. That’s why this is a really hard match to predict!
There’s a big mental fatigue factor with Higgins and I reckon we’ll find out a lot more very early in the match. I actually fancy Trump to end up ahead after the opening session, but you know Higgins is always going to simply hang around.
I believe the 11/8 on offer for Higgins to have the highest break in the final is big. I know Trump had a 141 earlier in the competition, but Higgins has beaten that. In his last match, he had a 143 and a 139 to go with it. His cue ball has also been a lot tighter than Trump’s this week.
I’ve got this feeling that it’s going to be very close, I just believe Higgins is going to stay in there, so I’m tipping over 31.5 frames at 5/6.
Finally, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this will be an 18-16 (13/1) victory for John Higgins and he’ll become champion for the fifth time.
* All odds correct at time of posting and may vary.