Scotland’s four-time World Champion John Higgins is relishing a return to Glasgow’s Emirates Arena next month, where he hopes to get his hands on the Stephen Hendry Trophy and win a maiden 19.com Scottish Open title.
Tickets remain available for this year’s tournament, where Higgins faces world number 108 Jamie O’Neill in the opening round. Click here to secure your place, with tickets starting at just £10.
The illustrious Glaswegian has enjoyed several magical moments in his home event, since its inception three years ago. Higgins fired in the ninth competitive 147 of his career at the tournament 12 months ago. He also beat Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump on a run to the final in the inaugural 2016 event, where he eventually lost out to Marco Fu.
Higgins said: “All the Scottish boys get good support in this tournament and I’ve always done relatively well at it. I would love to go one step further and get my hands on the Stephen Hendry Trophy. That would be a very special moment.
“The 147 last year was another good achievement. Really all there is left for me to do, in terms of the Scottish Open, is win it and get the title, so that’s what I’m hoping to achieve this year.”
A target on the immediate horizon for Higgins is overtaking compatriot Stephen Hendry in the all-time century makers list. Higgins currently sits in third position with 771 centuries, just four behind Hendry’s total of 775.
“It would mean a lot to catch Stephen up with the centuries,” said 44-year-old Higgins. “He is one of the greatest break builders the world has ever seen. There is a chance it could happen in Scotland and that would be a special event to do it at.”
This time last year Higgins was so dejected about his game that he had openly admitted he was considering retirement after a shock 6-5 loss against fellow Scot Alan McManus at the UK Championship. One year later, Higgins has a fresh perspective and outlook, which he admits is partly due to adopting a new cue in recent months.
“I felt as if my old cue had lost a bit of life out of it. I had too many little repair jobs done to it. So I just decided to go for a new cue. I also thought it was another reason to give myself a little boost coming nearer to the end of my career, to give me something to get used to and something new. Now and again it is good to have a little change and I think It has given me a bit more power in my game.
“I’m really just looking forward to the rest of the season. I feel that I am in a place where I could do quite well in some of the tournaments coming up so I’m quite positive about things.
“I would love to get another maximum to get to double figures in 147 breaks and I would love to win another big event, so those are really the main aims that I have.”