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Michael Holt denies John Higgins second comeback title

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

John Higgins missed out on a second straight title on his return to snooker as Michael Holt won the final European Tour Championship event in Prague.

The Scot returned after a six-month ban for not reporting an illegal match-fixing approach by winning the previous event in Hamm, Germany, last week.

Higgins, who had won his last 13 matches with Holt, recovered from 2-0 down in Sunday's final to lead 3-2.

But breaks of 74 and 64 saw the world number 42 from Nottingham prevail 4-3.

"I've always said that I can play the game and I'm good enough to win things," said Holt, who has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a full ranking event.

"In fact I stopped saying it because people thought I was lying. I just needed some confidence and to be able to handle the situation when it mattered.

"I did that - I didn't get nervous or twitch a ball in the final, I felt great. I couldn't have had a tougher draw as I had to beat Stephen Maguire, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy to get to the final. It's definitely the best moment of my career and hopefully I can kick on now and get up the rankings."

Murphy, who lost 4-3 to Holt in the semi-finals, finished top of the Order of Merit after the completion of six Players Tour Championship tournaments and six Euro Players Tour Championship events.

The top 24 qualify for the Grand Finals in March.

606: DEBATE

Three-time world champion Higgins will return to domestic action at the third major tournament of the season, the UK Championship, starting on Saturday 4 December.

In September, the Scot 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.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Marco Fu denied Ding Junhui a third successive gold medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in China.

Ding won gold at Busan in 2002 and Doha four years ago, but world number 14 Fu was fresher throughout their showdown and prevailed 4-2 in the final.



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see also
Higgins wins comeback tournament
14 Nov 10 |  Snooker
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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