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Page last updated at 20:52 GMT, Sunday, 31 January 2010

John Higgins beats Ali Carter to lift Welsh Open title

John Higgins

Higgins beats defending champion Carter (UK users only)

John Higgins beat defending champion Ali Carter 9-4 in the Welsh Open final.

Higgins, the reigning world champion who overcame Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals, surged into a 5-0 lead.

The Scot built up breaks of 95, 101, 137 and 81 as he punished Essex's Carter ruthlessly for any mistakes and led 6-2 going into the evening session.

The next four frames were evenly shared before Higgins snared the first frame after the mid-session interval with a superbly confident break of 76.

Higgins, 35, said: "I was delighted with the way I played for the first five frames. That was the best I'd ever felt really. I was just properly zoned in.

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"It's hard to win any tournament these days with the quality of players around but I'm over the moon about winning the Welsh Open for a second time [having previously lifted the crown in 2000].

"The crowd here are one of the best. The Newport Centre is a great arena to play in."

The victory leaves Higgins primed to overtake O'Sullivan as the world number one.

The Scot now leads his English counterpart in the provisional rankings and can guarantee top spot for the 2010/11 season by matching O'Sullivan's performance at the China Open in March.

The 11th frame, won by Carter, proved to be an extraordinary potting exhibition. Higgins opened with a break of 72, before missing a tough frame ball after potting nine reds and nine blacks as he set his sights on a 147 maximum.

Higgins rejoices after winning Welsh Open

Carter stepped to the table to coolly pot the six remaining reds and the colours for a break of 73 to win the frame by a single point.

That was as good as it got for Carter, however. The faintest sniff of a comeback appeared on the cards at 7-4, but Higgins won two in a row to seal his crown.

Carter said: "I was under all sorts of pressure and I was just glad to make a game of it. I would have been glad to get back to 7-5, but he's done me 9-4 in the end.

"The crowd have been great this week and I am disappointed I couldn't keep my title, but I had a good go."



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see also
Welsh Open 2010 scores/schedule
31 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Higgins trumps O'Sullivan in semi
30 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Dominant O'Sullivan beats Allen
29 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan races to win over Cope
28 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Holder Carter defeats Robertson
27 Jan 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan too good for Bingham
26 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Champion Carter through in Wales
25 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Welsh Open wins new sponsor deal
22 Jan 10 |  Snooker
Carter storms to Welsh Open title
22 Feb 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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