John Higgins booked his place in the 2021 Scottish Open by beatimg Ronnie by 6-1 yesterday afternoon.
Here are the scores:
Higgins Storms To Final
John Higgins put on a dominant display to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 and reach the final of the BetVictor Scottish Open.
Scotland’s four-time World Champion Higgins will now face either compatriot Anthony McGill or Luca Brecel for the Stephen Hendry Trophy and a top prize of £70,000. Higgins will be hoping to end a run of three consecutive final defeats this season. He was runner-up in both of the first two Home nations events.
The Glaswegian faced Mark Allen in the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open final and lost out 9-8. He was again on the wrong end of a deciding frame against Neil Robertson when he lost 9-8 at the BetVictor English Open. Higgins was runner-up to Judd Trump at the Champion of Champions, losing 10-4.
The emphatic victory means that Higgins has now won five of his six meetings with rival O’Sullivan in 2021. However, 37-time ranking event winner O’Sullivan still edges 31-time ranking event winner Higgins in the head-to-head, leading 36-33.
O’Sullivan is still hunting a first piece of silverware since capturing a sixth World Championship title last year. The Rocket appeared in five finals last season, but was runner-up on each occasion.
Higgins came flying out of the traps this afternoon. Breaks of 76 and 125 helped him into an early 3-0 lead. O’Sullivan kept himself in touch heading into the mid-session with a break of 86 to make it 3-1.
When play resumed Higgins completely shut out six-time World Champion O’Sullivan, denying him a single point for the remainder of the tie. Breaks of 74 and 98 helped him to take the next three frames and storm to a resounding 6-1 victory.
Higgins said: “I’m delighted. I was just trying to stay focussed, pot the ball in front of me and not look at the scoreline. I felt I was pretty focussed throughout the whole game.
“I’d never think I was getting a step up on Ronnie. It has happened throughout our whole careers where you get a bunch of games where the other guy plays better and then you might win a few games. It has always been the way and will probably continue to be.
“I think you would say without a shadow of doubt I am in good form. The top boys want to win and they normally do. I’m just trying to get back up there winning and I will be trying my hardest tomorrow.
“It would mean everything to win tomorrow. It would be special to play Anthony in the final. I know Luca is a great boy and a great player. He will have plenty of times to go for things. This could be a special moment. It might never happen again, having two Scottish players in the Scottish Open final. It would be a special occasion.”
At the time of writing, there is no Ronnie quotes to be found in the media. Ronnie didn’t play well, and left the arena looking extremely unhappy. He had fought hard all week, but was outplayed yesterday, and it visibly hurt, which in a way is good. John Higgins admitted that he had the run of the balls but that wasn’t the main issue.
After the match, Nick Metcalfe on twitter wondered if Ronnie praises John Higgins too much. I think he does, he looks in awe of him all the time and I’m not sure he comes into their matches truly believing that he can win and they seem to play each other astonishingly often: they have met 6 times in 2021.
John Higgins dream of an “all-Scottish+ final was shattered by Luca Brecel who beat Anthony McGill by 6-1.
Brecel Eases To Second Consecutive Final
Luca Brecel put on a dominant display to thrash Anthony McGill 6-1 and secure his place in the final of the BetVictor Scottish Open at Venue Cymru.
The Belgian now faces John Higgins over the best of 17 frames tomorrow, with the Stephen Hendry Trophy and a top prize of £70,000 on the line.
This week’s showing caps a superb period of form for Brecel, who went all the way to the final at last week’s UK Championship. The 26-year-old beat the likes of Stephen Maguire, McGill and Kyren Wilson on his way to last week’s title match, where he was defeated by Zhao Xintong.
Tomorrow will be the fourth ranking final appearance Brecel’s career. His only professional silverware thus far came at the 2017 China Championship, when he defeated Shaun Murphy in the final.
McGill falls short of a first ranking final appearance since the 2017 Indian Open, he lost to Higgins. He leaves Llandudno with the consolation of £20,000.
Brecel hit the front this evening with a fine break of 96 in the opener. He then claimed a 30-minute second on the black and added the third frame to move 3-0 ahead. Brecel compounded McGill’s misery by winning a tactical fourth, in which his highest break was 15.
He then moved five ahead upon the resumption, before McGill fired in a break of 90 to keep his hopes alive. However, it was to be in vain as Brecel got over the line by claiming the seventh to seal his place in the final.
“Pinching the second frame on the black was massive and it really settled me down,” said Brecel. “No disrespect to Anthony, but I expected to win. Not because it was him, but because I was confident and relaxed. It is great to beat him twice, having also won at the UK Championship. I rate him as a player, so to beat him is very good.
“To play John in a final is a dream. I will have to play better tomorrow if I want to win. I will try my best. It would be nice if I can have a good game and have confidence in my game. It is funny because John has lost about three stone and I have gained three stone. The weight he has got off, I have put on.”
Luca didn’t play particularly well, far from it. Anthony struggled badly, just like Ronnie had in the afternoon. Luca and Anthony have met 6 times in professional events, Luca has won each of their encounters …
Obviously head-to-heads matter, especially recent head-to-heads. We saw it in both matches yesterday. Probably those stats play on the players’ mind and confidence, but maybe they are also an indication that the “losing” player struggles with the “winning” player’s type of game. After all, Stephen Hendry in his pomp, never beat Mark Johnston Allen who. at his best, was ranked 31 in the World. It’s hard to explain sometimes.
The table had been recovered and John Higgins was very happy with the conditions; he had been fuming about them after the QFs. The three other players semi-finalists looked all at sea at times… even Luca who eventually won easily.
Yesterday’s result means that Ronnie is now set to play Ali Carter in the 2021 World Grand Prix first round next week… yuk!