John Higgins twice overcame three-frame deficits to beat Judd Trump 18-15 and win his fourth World Snooker Championship.
Higgins, a 35-year-old Scot, fought back from 10-7 and 12-9 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, yesterday to take a 13-12 lead into the last session of the best-of-35 frames final.
Higgins, whose father died in February, has won five tournaments since returning from a six-month ban in November for breaching betting rules.
“If someone had said this was possible back in November then I would’ve just laughed,” Higgins said in a news conference. “This is by far and away the biggest and best title that I’ve won.”
Higgins’s 24th victory in a ranking tournament earned him 250,000 pounds ($416,000). He also won snooker’s top prize in 1998, 2007 and 2009 and trails Stephen Hendry, who has won a record seven world titles, and Steve Davis and Ray Reardon, with six each, since the event changed to a knockout format in 1969.
“I want to get to seven,” Higgins said. “I’ve won it in three of the last five seasons. I don’t see any reason why I can’t do it and I have another five years to try and win it three times.”
The 21-year-old Trump, who won the China Open last month for his first ranking tournament title, is a “new sensation in the game” who has the potential to be a multiple world champion, Higgins said. The left-handed Englishman reached the final by playing “a brand of snooker I have never seen before,” the champion added.
Trump began the tournament as an 80-1 long shot with bookmakers and ousted defending champion Neil Robertson of Australia in the first round.
“Seventeen days ago I was no one really, but every game it kept building and the fan base I’ve created is unbelievable,” Trump said. “But you only remember the winners and you never remember the losers so I have a few things I have to work on.”