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Higgins eases to third world snooker title

By Nick Johnson
May 05, 2009 10:24 IST
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Scotland's John Higgins secured his third world title with a crushing 18-9 victory over England's Shaun Murphy in the final on Monday.

Leading 11-5 overnight, Higgins extended his lead to eight frames at 16-8 after the penultimate session and won two out of three frames when play resumed to seal victory, finishing the match off with a 73 break.

"To win it a third time is amazing. I knew my form was really close to being there coming into this tournament and, thank God, it was," Higgins told reporters.

Higgins said the size of victory was not a fair reflection on the balance of the final.

"The score doesn't tell the story of the match because there were maybe five or six frames that went to the colours and that's why I'm sitting here at 18-9 instead of being out there at 15-14," he said.

Higgins became only the fourth player to win three titles at the Crucible, joining Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan in an elite group.

The 33-year-old believes he can add to his tally over the next few years.

"I'm a lot more sensible than I was 10 years ago in a lot of ways," he said. "I feel a lot more controlled at the table.

"I think I've got more titles left in me. Playing at that level, I could win maybe one or two more world titles.

"I think the next two or three years are going to be important years for me because that'll be when I'll have my best chances to win more titles."

Murphy, who won the title four years ago, was generous in defeat.

"He's such a good tactician who put me in some really tough spots," he said. "He's a great champion."

Murphy insists the defeat will spur him on to add to his solitary title success.

"It isn't nice losing here and I don't want to go through that again."

Higgins, whose previous successes at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre came in 1998 and 2007, received a cheque for 250,000 pounds.

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