In the fast-paced Six Red World Championship in Thailand, where just 6 reds and 6 colored balls are used on the table, both John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan win in style to progress to the next round.
In a crucial match to advance from Group C at the Six Red World Championship, John Higgins annihilated his opponent, the amateur Thai player Poramin Danjirakul, with a lighting speed 5-0 victory.
Higgins has had a mixed tournament so far, first defeating the 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty to secure a 5-2 win but then losing 5-1 to the Iranian player Hossein Vafaei in an extremely disappointing performance. As a result, Higgins desperately needed the win against Danjirakul to secure his place in the next round.
Danjirakul, who had kept his waning hopes of qualifying alive by defeating Doherty 5-3 on the previous day, was unable to build on his winning streak against Higgins. The four-time World Champion from Scotland finished the match with solid breaks of 62 and 71 to secure his place in the next round.
After a difficult season that saw him ranked 47th on the one-year list, Higgins is showing the first glimmers of a return to form, having won the Championship League the previous week. According to Higgins, his recent change of cue size has been the decisive factor in the welcome uptick in his gameplay.
Higgins explained, “I’m now more comfortable with the size of my cue. I was hesitant to go down to the size I’m currently using, fearing it might be too short. I made the change after the Welsh Open, going shorter than I have in 20 years. Initially, I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, but now I think it’s better. It will benefit me for the rest of my career.”
Reflecting on his performance in a tough group, which included Doherty and Vafaei, Higgins said, “I didn’t know much about Poramin. In this event, the goal is to finish in the top two to advance to the last 16. Although I finished second, I might have a more challenging match, but you have to beat everyone to win the tournament.”
Meanwhile, in his debut appearance at the event, the reigning World Champion Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan opened his campaign by defeating Jimmy Robertson 5-3 in an exciting match. O’Sullivan got off to a fantastic start, quickly winning the first two frames, crafting a lovely break of 64 in the second frame to take a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Robertson had a rare opportunity to secure the third frame, only needing the pink and black to take the game. However, much to the crowd’s despair, he received a kick on the pink, which caused him to lose his position and miss the pot on the black. O’Sullivan instantly took advantage of the situation and calmly sunk the black to increase his lead to 3-0.
Despite having fallen behind, Robertson held his nerves and managed to win the next three frames. But in the end, it was Ronnie O’Sullivan who won the eighth frame to secure a well-earned 5-3 victory.
O’Sullivan had already defeated Stan Moody 5-2 and later went on to beat the home favorite, James Wattana, 5-2. Overall, O’Sullivan’s performance was cool and collected and with 3 wins under his belt, he came out on top of his group and looks to be a potential tournament favorite.
Both Higgins and O’Sullivan, two of snooker’s genuine legends, are showing great promise in the Six Red World Championship, much to the delight of their loyal fans. As a result, the tournament already looks set to be a true Battle Royale in the coming days as some snooker’s best-loved players fight it out for the title.