Tue, May 05, 2009
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Higgins down Murphy to win snooker worlds

2009-05-05 01:35:10 GMT2009-05-05 09:35:10 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Scotland's John Higgins celebrates his victory in the awarding ceremony after defeats England's Shaun Murphy by 18-9 in the two-day final match of 2009 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, May 4, 2009. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

England's Shaun Murphy plays a shot during the first day of the final match against Scotland's John Higgins at the 2009 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, May 3, 2009. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

Scotland's John Higgins hits the ball in the two-day final match of 2009 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, May 4, 2009. He defeated England's Shaun Murphy by 18-9 and won his third title in the championship. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

Scotland's John Higgins and his family celebrate his victory in the awarding ceremony after defeats England's Shaun Murphy by 18-9 in the two-day final match of 2009 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, May 4, 2009. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

Scotland's John Higgins kisses his wife in the awarding ceremony after defeats England's Shaun Murphy by 18-9 in the two-day final match of 2009 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, England, May 4, 2009. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

LONDON, May 5 (Xinhua) -- John Higgins lifted the World Snooker Championship title with a commanding 18-9 final victory over Shaun Murphy at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Monday.

The Scot's success saw him to his third world crown to go with his 1998 and 2007 triumphs in a match where 2005 world champion Murphy was not at his best.

Reflecting on the match, Higgins said Sunday's second session -where he'd pulled away from 4-4 to an 11-5 overnight lead - had been decisive.

"I got a good run of the balls in the second session and that is what swung it my way," said Higgins.

Murphy, agreeing with Higgins's summary of the final, added: "I thought the match was good until we got to five-all, that second session is where it went wrong for me."

The 33-year-old Higgins, whose 11-5 overnight lead was the largest in a Crucible final, was 16-8 in front at the end of Monday's first session.

And when the match resumed he'd made the most of yet another Murphy error to move to within one of the title.

But the 26-year-old Englishman, the reigning UK champion, produced a 59 break to keep Higgins at bay.

However, he was merely delaying the inevitable and, after Murphy broke down in the next, Higgins rounded off the match with a break of 73, just failing to add to the record 83 centuries scored at this World Championship.

Higgins joined Ronnie O'Sullivan and the late John Spencer on three world titles with only seven-times champion Stephen Hendry and six-times winners Steve Davis and Ray Reardon more successful since the tournament reverted to being a knockout event in 1969.

The match was all square at 4-4 after the first session but Higgins won seven of the next eight frames in a key burst.

Higgins's win saw him become the oldest Crucible world champion since Dennis Taylor triumphed in 1985 at the age of 36. Higgins turns 34 on May 18.

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