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Page last updated at 22:02 GMT, Sunday, 19 October 2008 23:02 UK

Higgins resists Day to take title

Video: Higgins finally sees off Day's comeback

John Higgins held off a superb comeback from Ryan Day to win his first ranking event for 18 months at the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow.

The Scot opened up a 5-2 lead in an impressive opening session and extended it to 7-2 before Day found his form.

The Welshman, seeking his first ranking title in his third final, won five of the next six frames to get back to 8-7.

But Higgins held his nerve to win 9-7. securing his fourth Grand Prix crown and his first success on home soil.

I was just relieved to get over the line and really proud I have won

John Higgins
It was the first title for the "Wizard of Wishaw" since his second World Championship victory in May 2007, and his 19th ranking title in all.

The opening session gave little sign of the drama to come as Higgins compiled four breaks of more than 50, the best an 85 in the second frame, to open up a three-frame advantage over the world number eight, who replied with breaks of 64 and 82.

That became five frames when Higgins had further runs of 62 and 52 on the resumption to make it 7-2.

"I was 7-2 up but I was feeding off Ryan because he didn't play nearly as well as he has all week - he has definitely been the player of the tournament," Higgins said.

"I knew once he got his cue arm going he would come back at me really strongly. I was just relieved to get over the line and really proud I have won."

Day rattled in a break of 69 to kick-start his revival and then won a topsy-turvy 11th frame on the black to go in at the interval only 7-4 down.

An 89 further reduced the deficit before the Welshman won a tight 13th frame on the pink to cut the gap to one.

John deserved to win. He was the better player on the day

Ryan Day
The two-time world champion responded to the pressure to move within one of victory, only for Day to maintain the tension with an 83 to make it 8-7.

But Higgins potted a superb penultimate red to finally shake off his doughty opponent, whose search for an elusive first ranking title goes on.

Day, who also lost his previous two ranking finals, in Malta in 2007 and Shanghai last season, refused to use fatigue as an excuse after his nailbiting, final-frame semi-final win over Ali Carter on Saturday.

"I was slow out of the blocks and I could have been a bit jaded after last night but that was no excuse," he said. "I should have been better than I was today.

"I am disappointed with the result. I dug in and gave a little of my best but it wasn't quite there. John deserved to win. He was the better player on the day."

Interviews with Higgins and Day followed by the trophy presentation


see also
Terrific Trump shocks O'Sullivan
17 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Stoke potter Cope shocks Maguire
13 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Hendry & Davis shine in Glasgow
12 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix final scores
19 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix draw
17 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
16 Sep 08 |  Snooker

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Glasgow Sunday Mail John Higgins sends rookie star Trump crashing out of Grand Prixz semi-final - 19 hrs ago
Sky Sports Clinical Day into semis - 56 hrs ago