John Higgins seals Championship League snooker progress – ‘It’d be good to get another title’

Date:

John Higgins will have the chance to claim back-to-back Championship League titles after winning Group Five on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory against Matthew Selt.

The Scotsman claimed the non-ranking event title last May with a 3-2 win against Stuart Bingham and will join Bingham, Jack Lisowski, Kyren Wilson and Judd Trump in this year’s winners’ group (1-2 March) after a productive day’s potting at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

Higgins needs to win next week’s Welsh Open (13-19 February) to qualify for the Players Championship in Wolverhampton (20-26 February) involving the world’s top 16 players on the one-year list, but appears to be in decent form before his trip to Llandudno for the Welsh Open, an event he has won a record five times.

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He enjoyed breaks of 135, 83 and 75 in a 3-0 triumph against Xiao Guodong in the semi-finals before adding runs of 65 and 57 against 2022 Turkish Masters finalist Selt, who compiled 67 and 80 in defeat.

“I am pleased to get through,” said Higgins. “I thought I was lucky to get in the semi-finals if the results went the other way.

“It goes to show how you start the group, but how you finish it. I’ve had a decent record here. It’s good to get through it. I am pleased to be in winners’ group. It gives me another chance. It’d be good to get another title!”

Selt also ran in 58, 133 and 85 on his way to edging out Neil Robertson 3-2 in the last four, a repeat outcome of their earlier group meeting that saw Robertson produce a glorious 143 in the third frame with his opponent hitting 106 and 81.

Higgins had earlier edged out Robert Milkins on frames won to claim the fourth and final spot in the semi-finals in a high-quality encounter that saw the Scotsman produce knocks of 115 and 55 with Milkins responding with 143 and 96.

Noppon Saengkham and David Gilbert are eliminated from the latest group stage, but Selt, Xiao, Robertson and Milkins return to contest Group Six on Thursday and Friday alongside Zhou Yuelong, Joe Perry and Anthony McGill.

Wednesday’s Championship League results

Final

  • John Higgins 3-1 Matthew Selt

Semi-finals

  • Xiao Guodong 0-3 John Higgins
  • Matthew Selt 3-2 Neil Robertson

Group Five results

  • Noppon Saengkham 0-3 Robert Milkins
  • John Higgins 3-1 Matthew Selt
  • Noppon Saengkham 3-1 David Gilbert
  • Xiao Guodong 3-0 Matthew Selt
  • David Gilbert 3-1 John Higgins
  • Xiao Guodong 1-3 Robert Milkins
  • Neil Robertson 2-3 Matthew Selt
  • Neil Robertson 1-3 Noppon Saengkham
  • John Higgins 3-2 Robert Milkins

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Stream top snooker action, including the Welsh Open, live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.co.uk

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