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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Husband

John Higgins told to ‘sod off’ by World Championship rival before brutal Crucible blast

Kyren Wilson admitted he was crossing his fingers John Higgins would blink during his demolition at the Crucible.

Higgins cruised into the quarter-finals after a clinical 13-2 victory, with the Wizard of Wishaw at his break building best throughout the contest. In total, the four-time world champion rattled in four century breaks and threatened to make a maximum 147 throughout.

He ultimately missed out on the perfect clearance, and in doing so failed to match Wilson, who joined an elite group in the first round. Wilson became the 13th player to hit a maximum at the World Championship during his victory over Ryan Day.

The 2020 finalist also put himself in the mix to scoop the £55k prize pot for the highest break - although it will be shared if more than one player are equal. Higgins looked primed to muscle in on the prize money, before ultimately falling short.

And Wilson has revealed he bluntly told his opponent to “sod off” during the final frame of the one-sided contest, with Higgins in position until he missed a red with only four left on the table.

"I just said 'sod off mate', I'm always delighted for people when they do well, but - I'm not going to lie - I was willing for him to miss!" Wilson joked.

Higgins will get another crack in the next round where he will take on either Mark Selby or Gary Wilson in the last eight. "I am over the moon just to beat Kyren, but to beat him with a session to spare I would never have believed that was possible. I felt as if I could just play there all day. It felt really good, and you do not get that many times here.”

It wasn’t all smiles for Higgins however, after he hit out at tournament organisers for what he described as “pathetic” scheduling. His quarter will take place during the afternoon session on Tuesday and then the afternoon and evening sessions on Wednesday. And it's fair to say the all-time great isn't overly happy about it.

"It’s pathetic isn’t it?" he told Eurosport . "Every year there’s always a quarter, I’ve been coming for 29 years and every year there’s a quarter where you’re going back-to-back sessions in a quarter-final of a World Championship.

"It’s terrible, absolutely terrible. It’s pathetic. Why? Why are you out there playing for like 10 hours? It depends on the way the match is going, if you’re well in front it can be great because you just want to roll on with it. But if you’re well behind you want to have a little break and you don’t want the other guy to still feel good."

Asked for an alternative, he added: "It’s just really bad planning and we’ve had it for so many years. It should be eight frames 2.30pm Tuesday, then 10am, then 7pm."

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