Sunday, 12 December 2010

Williams Vs Higgins - Two Snooker Greats

Today's UK Championship snooker final between Mark Williams and John Higgins has felt like the turning back of the snooker clock a good decade and its been a pleasure to watch.

Williams leads 6-2 going into the evening session tonight and is on-course to record his 3rd UK Championship win having lifted the trophy back in 1999 & 2002.

John Higgins has also lifted the title twice, back in 1998 & 2000 - the two of them winning snooker's second most prestigious title for 4 years out of 5 at the turn of the millennium.

After the controversy of the match-fixing allegations that led to a 6 month ban earlier this year, Higgins, in his first tournament back in the saddle has shown that whilst his judgement let him down this year, his talent hasn't deserted him.

Williams on the other hand has fought back against career threatening bad form after he dropped out of the World's elite top 16 a few years back, to show once more what he's all about.

A Return of the Snooker Elite
Because both Williams and Higgins share the highest snooker accolades with other masters of the game over the years.

In the list of all-time ranking tournament winners Higgins sits at No.4 with 21 wins and Williams at No.5 with 17 wins. The only players above them are the legends of the game Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan with 36, 28 and 22 respectively.

Higgins has matched O'Sullivan's 3 World Championship wins whilst Williams has won it twice.

The only other player to have reached double figures in ranking event wins is Jimmy White with 10.

When it comes to century makers, the top 4 of Hendry, Davis, O'Sullivan and Higgins also make the top four (in the order of Hendry, O'Sullivan, Higgins and Davis on 749, 614, 447 and 318 respectively - Mark Williams comes in at 8th with 244)

The New Guns a Blazing
The new snooker stars are a breed apart and will lead the game into the next decade with great distinction. To name but a few, the likes of Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui, Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter, Mark Selby and current World Champion Neil Robertson are world class and will contest the major finals for years to come.

But they will do well to make it past the 'Top 5' into the upper echelons of the game's record breakers becase the top 5 mentioned were in their time, an absolute class apart also.

With Davis already on a gently downward spiral and Hendry on a currently more turbulent one, it can be safe to say that there won't be many more World Snooker Ranking Finals that pit any of these 5 against each other.

So savour what is a real treat for us snooker fans this evening - a final between 2 of the greats of the baize.

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