Crucible 2017 – Semi finals aftermath

After 15 days of battles, a rollercoaster of emotions … here we are: the defending Champion Mark Selby will face John Higgins, a veteran with 4 World titles to his name. Exactly ten years ago, they met in the final, and John won. He was in his prime, Mark was still very green. Now Mark is in his prime and John in the automn of his career.

Ronnie was in the studio with Jimmy White, Colin Murray and Ronnie Wood, but without Dolly this time. Click on the image to watch and listen to their punditry session yesterday evening.

WC20172Ronnies&JimmyESStudio

And here is Ding’s press conference after the match:

Ding is a very nice person and I really hope he wins the World title one day. He has an awful lot of expectations on his shoulders. He’s almost a god in China, but he’s still the humble and rather shy boy I first met more than 10 years ago.

The Mark Selby v Ding semi final was as good snooker as you will ever see, especially the third session. People who think that Mark Selby is boring, either don’t watch or don’t understand what he’s doing. And the same goes for Ding who some also brand as “boring”. Here is that third session:

The Higgins v Hawkins semi final was disappointing. Hawkins never found any sort of form and although he battled hard, never really challenged Higgins who wasn’t playing that great himself, but of course he didn’t need to. Would he have been able to up his game if Hawkins had grown stronger? Maybe.

Now, how do I see the final going? Well if both play the way they did to get there, there is only one winner: Mark Selby and it won’t even be close. But I suspect that Higgins will up his game and raise to the occasion. Will he be able to beat Selby on form? I doubt it and I hope not. I used to like John Higgins, and I admire his game, but after what happened in 2010 – and, remember, I was in the media room when this NOTW scandal unfolded – he’s lost my respect.