John Higgins has won the 2023 BetVictor Championship League Invitational beating Judd Trump in the final 3-1 at the Morningside Arena, Leicester live on Matchroom.Live, Viaplay, DAZN and broadcasters worldwide.
In a stacked group that saw six of the world’s top 16 involved, it was always going to be a tight affair with Trump doing the early running through day one. Former winners Kyren Wilson and John Higgins alongside Neil Robertson completed a stellar semi-final line-up.
During the group stage, Trump barely broke a sweat to win five from six matches dropping only seven frames along the way and that momentum continued in the semi-finals against Robertson, someone who he had got the better of 3-0 earlier in the day. A result that was soon replicated in the first semi-final to complete. It was an imperious display of snooker from Trump who made contributions of 86, 52, and 77 to get over the line and meet either Higgins or Kyren Wilson in the final.
Wilson looked to have control the second semi with Higgins left sitting in his chair after a brilliant clearance of 137 from the Warrior put him ahead early on. The current European Masters champion followed on from that with a break of 85 to leave clear daylight against his Scottish counterpart who was yet to score a point. At this point, Higgins started to make his own pace with 86 in the third and 61 in the following to level it up at two apiece. The final frame proved to be more nip and tuck but Higgins saw it through with 66 to make it to his second consecutive Championship League Snooker Invitational final as he looked to defend his crown.
Into the final, Higgins did the early running with 62 but Trump’s heavy scoring form saw him tick off career century number 899 in the second with a timely 100 to level at 1-1. Higgins came back through with another 50+ break of 78 before seeing it over the line in what proved to be the final frame to take a total of £26,500 home from the tournament.
The win for Higgins is his 50th career title: “It feels amazing. I played really well the last couple of days although it wasn’t looking good after losing my first match against Wilson 3-0 then 2-0 down to Stuart Bingham then if Stuart doesn’t go for a maximum, I think he was on 56, I’d have lost my first two matches 3-0 and 3-0. There was no way I was coming back from that, luckily enough I managed to scrape that result then I began to play well. I was delighted with the way I hit the ball.”
“It’s a big tournament in its own right now. It gets you into the Champion of Champions. It’s brilliant to win it and hopefully, it can give me a bit of confidence. I got some work done to my cue, but I am going back to my roots with same size of cue. It seemed to work. It’s given me confidence. It’s all about confidence this game.”
Higgins becomes the first player to win the tournament on four occasions winning. Successfully defending the title sees Higgins qualify for the 2023 Champion of Champions set to take place at the Bolton Stadium Hotel, University of Bolton Stadium from November 13-19. Tickets go on priority sale Monday, 13 March, and general sale from Monday, 20 March. Sign up for priority ticket alerts here.