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Page last updated at 19:25 GMT, Sunday, 14 November 2010

John Higgins wins comeback beating Shaun Murphy

John Higgins
Higgins was fined 75,00 and suspended in May

John Higgins sealed victory on his return to snooker, beating Shaun Murphy 4-2 in the final of the European Tour Championship event in Hamm, Germany.

Higgins, 35, won seven matches in the three-day tournament and beat World championship runner-up Graeme Dott 4-1 in the semi-finals.

The triumph will move Higgins up one place to third in the world rankings.

The three-time world champion was back after a six-month ban for not reporting an illegal match-fixing approach.

Higgins, who is set to return to domestic action at the UK Championship on 4 December, had not competed since losing to Steve Davis at the World Championship in April.


In September, Higgins was cleared of match-fixing allegations made against him by the News of the World, but admitted bringing the game into disrepute by not reporting an approach to throw games.

As a result, he was fined £75,000 and banned for six months, backdated to May 2010 when he was originally suspended.

In missing the first part of the season Higgins slipped from number one in the world to number four, but the 2,000 ranking points earned for the victory have halted the slide.

"It was a good final, I only really missed one ball, when I should have gone 3-1 up," said Higgins, who was supported at the event by wife Denise.

"I just came here hoping to get a few matches under my belt, so I'm delighted to win it.

"I had to be realistic coming here as the other players had all been competing regularly for four or five months. I knew I was good enough to win it but I didn't expect that much."

Higgins opened a high-quality final with a superb break of 132, and went 2-0 ahead with a run of 66. Murphy, who was aiming to become the first player to win two events in the PTC series, hit back to 2-2 with 64 and 50.

The Scot regained the lead with a 95, and knocked in a 53 in the next to lead by 66 with five reds left. Murphy enjoyed an outrageous fluke out of a snooker and had a chance to clear up, but missed a tricky black off the last red and offered the handshake.

"Winning here gives me some confidence but there's a long way to go, I would have felt that whatever happened here. It has no real bearing on the rest of the season," added Higgins, who earned £8,500 for his victory in Germany.

The 12th and final short event in the PTC series is in Prague next. The top 24 in the final Order of Merit qualify for the Grand Finals in March. However, players must have contested at least three PTC and three EPTC events, so Higgins will not be eligible for the final event.

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see also
Higgins makes final in comeback
14 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Higgins into last 16 on comeback
13 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Snooker opens corruption hotline
12 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Anxious Higgins set for comeback
07 Nov 10 |  Snooker
Grand Prix draw
17 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix final scores
19 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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