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The 16 Seeds: John Higgins

Continuing our series of Cazoo World Championship previews.
By David Hendon

Seed 10: John Higgins

Career overview

Higgins is one of snooker’s all-time greats. He became the first teenager to win three ranking events during a single season in 1994/95 and has to date won 31 ranking titles, leaving him third behind Ronnie O’Sullivan (39) and Stephen Hendry (36).

Higgins has won four world titles, the UK Championship three times and the Masters twice. His most recent ranking title came at the Players Championship two years ago. He also has 12 maximum breaks to his name and is second behind O’Sullivan in the all-time list of century break makers, having made 934 coming into the World Championship.

This season

Having lost in five finals last season, Higgins seemed to suffer a hangover during the current campaign. It was not until the recent WST Classic that he reached a ranking event quarter-final, although he did retain the Championship League title.

However, in recent times he has begun to cue with greater confidence and his centuries tally of 37, eight fewer than Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy at the top of the list, suggests his scoring game is coming back.

The Crucible

After his first appearance in 1995, Higgins professed to not understanding the fuss about the Crucible. He soon changed his mind.

In 1998, he became the first member of the celebrated Class of ’92 to win the world title. He was runner-up in 2001 before waiting a further six years to win his second title. It was not long though before he captured a third in 2009 and fourth in 2011.

From 2017 to 2019 Higgins appeared in three successive finals, taking his career tally to eight. He has also reached three further semi-finals, including a run to the last four 12 months ago, and made a maximum in 2020.

Key stats

Previous appearances: 28

Matches played: 87

Matches won: 63

Crucible centuries: 164

2023 prospects

Higgins has struggled this season but his toughness and masterful match-play still makes him a dangerous prospect. Even if he doesn’t win a fifth world title this year he can still deny various favourites from getting their hands on the trophy.


He will need to dig deep to reach the one-table set-up again but is never a pushover.

Bookmakers’ odds on Higgins: 18/1