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  Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 21:40 GMT 22:40 UK
Higgins wins epic semi-final
Higgins moved into his second World Championship final
John Higgins (Sco) beat Matthew Stevens (Wales) 17-15

Click here for frame-by-frame coverage

John Higgins booked his place alongside Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final of the World Championship after an outstanding semi-final victory over Matthew Stevens.

The two players produced a memorable final session of play to complement what had gone before.

But eventually Higgins took the match after a gruelling final frame that lasted just over an hour.

Stevens held a 13-11 advantage going into the final session but Higgins took the first two frames of the evening to level matters.

Matthew Stevens
Stevens can only watch as Higgins goes on to win
And the Scotsman raised the pressure on last year's runner-up by racing through frame 27 with a break of 75 to take a 14-13 lead.

There followed a very cagey frame, crucially won by Stevens to leave the duo all-square once again at the interval.

Stevens was the quickest to make his mark when play resumed and moved into a 15-14 lead thanks mainly to a break of 71.

But Higgins responded immediately as the semi-final took yet another twist.

Contrasting fortunes

A break of 69 put Higgins in control, but an error when trying to pot a red that would have left Stevens requiring snookers allowed the Welshman back in.

Stevens then looked set to clear up and take the frame, but he missed on the yellow and allowed Higgins to level at 15-15.

A break of 73 then put Higgins within a frame of his second World Championship final.

But the whole drama of the match was summed up in frame 32 as the tension reached its peak in a frame that took just over an hour to complete.

After a scrappy opening to the frame both players showed a combination of excellent safety play and the effect of nerves.

But it was Higgins who eventually came out on top to reach his second Crucible final.

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