Higgins produced a superb fight-back
John Higgins will be aiming for his 27th career ranking title on Sunday when he faces Martin Gould in the final of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Scotland’s Higgins came from 4-0 down to beat Jamie Jones in the semi-finals, while Londoner Gould saw off Stephen Maguire 6-1.
Victory for world number 13 Higgins in Bendigo would bring his career tally level with Ronnie O’Sullivan and just one behind Steve Davis, though still well behind Stephen Hendry’s record of 36 ranking crowns.
World number 26 Gould, by contrast, will be aiming for his first ranking title; his only previous final coming at the 2011 Players Championship when he lost 4-0 to Shaun Murphy.
Welshman Jones was playing his first ranking semi-final today and he looked set to go further when he took the first four frames against Higgins, knocking in breaks of 78, 51 and 96.
Four-time World Champion Higgins hit back with runs of 134 and 89 in taking the next three frames, then stole a crucial eighth with a 45 clearance. He took the lead at 5-4 with a superb 133, and sealed victory in the next with a 92, assisted by an outrageous fluke on the blue when he was on just 25.
“I felt good, even at 4-0 down,” said Wishaw’s 40-year-old Higgins. “Jamie just outplayed me. I missed a few but there wasn’t that much I could do. An interval can change any match, otherwise I could easily have lost 6-0, the way Jamie was playing.
“I nicked the fifth frame and then made a good break in the sixth, and after that I felt I was in the match, and Jamie could see I was in there fighting. Conditions were perfect, and when I started to hit the ball well, it was a joy to play on the table. In the last frame I had probably the biggest fluke of my career to help win it.”
Gould eased into a 4-0 lead over Maguire with top runs of 54, 82 and 87. Glasgow’s Maguire pulled one back with a 61, but scored just one point in the last two frames as Gould sailed through, sealing victory with a break of 100.
“My game plan is always the same, everything I see I go for,” said Gould. “Some days they go in, some days they don’t, and luckily today everything went smoothly. John and I are both playing well, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
First to nine frames tomorrow will receive $75,000. They will play eight frames from 2pm local time, and the remainder from 7pm.
Gould is into his first ranking final for four years