2015 International Championship: Daqing glory for Higgins

16:20:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

John Higgins lifted this year's International Championship trophy after beating David Gilbert 10-5 in the final. The victory means a great deal for the Scotsman, as this is his 28th ranking title, thus reaching the same number of ranking titles that his boy idol, Steve Davis has conquered.

Higgins' performance throughout the entire tournament has been deservedly described as "vintage stuff", the player nicknamed "The Wizard of Wishaw" recording great victories, such 6-2 against Zhao Xintong, 6-3 with Michael Holt, an outstanding 6-0 in front of Shaun Murphy, 6-3 against Joe Perry and 9-4 against world number one, Mark Selby.

However, his last opponent, David Gilbert has also performed amazingly in Daqing obtaining significant victories in front of China's Xiao Guodong, Oliver Lines, Ryan Day, Marco Fu and the Thai Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

So it was no surprise to see a close final, at least for the first session, that is.

The opening frame went into David's pocket pretty easily, but Higgins was sure to win a scrapping second frame, to which the Englishman responded with a great 100 break to take the lead once more.

The mid-session interval was finding the lads tight at two apiece, but not for long as Higgins took care of winning the following two frames and get himself into the leading chair for the first time since the start of the match.

Still, Gilbert didn't give in and managed to draw level at 4-4, minutes later though Higgins using a 108 break to end the first session with a slight advantage. 

The last session proved to be quite different from the previous one, as the Scotsman dominance began to show.

Breaks of 129 and 88 were putting Higgins at 7-4 up, while Gilbert could only reply with a top break of 51 to pull back a frame.

In frame 13 the Englishman had a huge chance to make a difference and add more to his collection of frames, but a stubborn red (fair to say his positional shot wasn't the greatest though) decided to stay into the jaws of the pocket this stopping his run at 54.

The 2015 Australian Golfields Open champion used this chance to clear the table with a brilliant 88 to which he then added a 52 and a 56 to close the deal and win 10-5.

An ecstatic John Higgins was awarded a cheque of £125,000 (the biggest money prize since winning the 2011 World Championship) and the trophy (which looks more like a fancy vase), while Gilbert got a cheque of £ 65,000 and a nice plate.

From China's Daqing we return to mother Europe, where the Bulgarian Open is about to start (4-8 of November) so more snooker will be coming our way in just a few days’ time.