Higgins to Lead Milkins at Crucible

Four-time world champion John Higgins eases to Shanghai Masters second round after defeating China’s #2 Liang Wenbo in the first round match.John Higgins - Lead after first session

Former world champion John Higgins had a smooth start on the World Snooker Championship’s first day. The debutant Anthony McGill is 6-3 ahead. 

The Wizard of Wishaw showed the real value of experience, today at The Crucible. The four times world champion has played several impressive tactical shots and forced Milkins into making mistakes, finishing with a solid 6-3 lead after the first session.

Higgins, aiming for a fifth world title at this year championship, seems highly confident, “I’m going to The Crucible in a better frame of mind this year than I have in the last few years. I’m feeling confident about my game,” he told the Daily Record. “Mentally I feel in a lot better place than I have been in the last few years.”

“It’s been a tough couple of years but I felt something click at The Masters when I played Mark Allen. I played really well in that match and still lost but I felt good about the way I played and felt as if I’d turned the corner.”

John Higgins - With the 2007 World Championship trophy

John Higgins – With the 2007 World Championship trophy

Anthony McGill performed well on his Crucible debut at the World Championship by leading 6-3 ahead of his compatriot Stephen Maguire. McGill has qualified for his first World Championship after coming through three matches, ending with a 10–9 victory over Mark King which he closed with a 127 break.

The 2014/2015 season is McGill’s best since he started playing professional snooker, reaching nine ranking events and the World Grand Prix. In The UK Championship he made it to the quarter final, McGill eliminated both Michael Georgiou and Igor Figueiredo by 6–4 scorelines and then came back from 4–1 down against Nigel Bond to triumph 6–5.

He reached his first UK quarter-final by holding on to beat John Higgins 6–5 after being 4–1 up, but attributed the win to Higgins’s bad form rather than his own good play. McGill then lost 6–4 to Ronnie O’Sullivan after being 2–0 ahead and admitted he had blown his opportunity to knock out the four-time UK champion after failing to capitalise on the many chances that came his way during the game. However, he did break into the top 32 in the world rankings for the first time after the event.

Anthony McGill - First ever Crucible appearance

Anthony McGill – First ever Crucible appearance