In-form John Higgins admits that improving his fitness could be crucial to his chances of winning a fifth World Championship title.
Scotland’s 42-year-old Higgins played superb snooker last week at the Welsh Open, winning the event for a record fifth time and taking his career tally of ranking titles to 30.
The Wizard of Wishaw will be back in action in Wales later this month at the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Llandudno. The tournament at Venue Cymru features an elite field of the top 16 players on this season’s one year ranking list, and Higgins is currently in third place. He’ll play his opening match on the afternoon of Wednesday March 21.
“Winning the Welsh Open gives me a lot of confidence going into the last few tournaments of the season,” said Higgins. “I’m proud of it because the Welsh Open has been on the calendar ever since I turned pro. So to have come through and won it five times is a brilliant feeling.
“I’m really looking forward to the Players Championship now, it’s a great event to be involved in. It really has a similar feel to the Masters because it is the best 16 players. And this year it has changed from best of nine to best of 11 frames in the first round which again adds to the prestige.”
Looking ahead to the World Championship, which starts on April 21, four-time Crucible king Higgins added: “I would love to win one of the Triple Crown events again and obviously the World Championship would be massive.
“I could probably get a bit fitter. I’m not the fittest of anyone on the tour and it’s an area where I could give myself more of an opportunity because it is a gruelling 17 days. That’s the one thing that could help me.”
Higgins could face Anthony McGill in the first round in Llandudno
Other top stars competing in Llandudno include Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson, Ding Junhui and defending champion Judd Trump.
The full draw and format will be released once the complete line up of 16 players is known, after this week’s Gibraltar Open.
The ITV4-televised world ranking tournament features a top prize of £125,000 and a total prize fund of £380,000. It’s a fantastic chance for fans to see the sport’s biggest names competing for a coveted title.
Tickets, starting at just £15, are still available although certain sessions are expected to sell out fast now the format has been released. For details call 01492 872 000 or CLICK HERE