World Snooker Tour hit back at John Higgins after ‘pathetic’ rant

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John Higgins has received a response from the World Snooker Tour after labelling the schedule at this month’s World Snooker Championship ‘pathetic’. The 47-year-old did not hold back as he faced playing back-to-back sessions at the Crucible, where he cruised through to the quarter-finals after beating Kyren Wilson.

Higgins powered through to the last eight by virtue of a 13-2 rout over Wilson, against whom he produced some classy snooker to dispose of his opponent – ranked seventh in the world – in dominant fashion.

The Scotsman is gunning for a fifth world title at the Crucible, and his first since 2011, but is in the midst of a demanding schedule to make it to the semis. His match-up with Mark Selby has been underway since the afternoon session on Tuesday, while it will also unfold over the afternoon and evening sessions on Wednesday.

“It’s pathetic, isn’t it,” a furious Higgins told Eurosport when asked about the tricky schedule. “Every year there’s always a quarter. Every year.

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“I have been coming for 29 years, and every year there is always a quarter where you are going back-to-back sessions in a quarter-final of a World Championship. It’s terrible, it’s absolutely terrible if you think about it.

“For us to still be back in this historic way that you are playing a double session back-to-back in a World Championship quarter-final is pathetic! Why? Why are you out there playing for like 10 hours when it is simple?”

“If you are well in front it can be great because you just want to roll on with it. But if you are well behind you want to have a little break and you don’t want the other guy to still feel good. It is just really bad, really bad planning and we’ve had it for so many years.”

Ahead of his match with Selby, the World Snooker Tour took their opportunity to respond to Higgins’ outspoken comments, explaining: “The quarter-finals are scheduled to ensure that at least one match finishes in each session on Wednesday.

“It is important for our international broadcasters to spread the match finishes across the three sessions in this way, and we have to take this into account while trying to make the schedule as fair as possible for all players.”

Despite making his complaints known, Higgins stormed into an early 4-1 lead against Selby on Tuesday before seeing his former world champion opponent fight back to 4-4. Their best-of-25 clash is finely poised for the resumption of play at 14:30 BST on Wednesday.

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