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  Tuesday, 8 May, 2001, 02:12 GMT 03:12 UK
Higgins: Ronnie is worthy champion
John Higgins looks on as the title slips away
Higgins: "Ronnie just makes the game look so easy"
BBC Sport Online speaks exclusively to John Higgins after his defeat to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Embassy World Championship final.

John Higgins hailed Ronnie O'Sullivan as one of snooker's greatest ever players after the Rocket beat him 18-14 at the Crucible.

Higgins, who won the world crown in 1998, praised O'Sullivan's ability and natural talent, claiming he makes the game look far too easy.

"Usually you rate a player on what they have won but Ronnie has so much natural ability it is unbelievable," Higgins told BBC Sport Online.

"Players who won it in the past such as Ray Reardon and Cliff Thorburn must struggle to believe just how high the standard of snooker was out there.


I missed too many balls and against Ronnie in that sort of form, that is fatal
John Higgins

"He just makes the game look so easy - he is a worthy champion.

"I really found it hard out there. I seemed to have put all my efforts into getting into the final but then when I got there it was over in a flash."

But Higgins, who now drops below O'Sullivan in the rankings after the defeat, admitted he was aware that the tension was getting to the Rocket as the game reached its climax.

"I could sense Ronnie was nervous towards the end of the game.

"He hadn't won it before and his nerves were setting in on him, but I didn't take advantage of them like I should.

"I missed too many balls and against Ronnie in that sort of form, that is fatal.

"I just couldn't pot the vital balls to test Ronnie to the full.

"I have already had my year, but hopefully there will be plenty more to come," he added.

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