The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’, John Higgins, emerged victorious in the 2023 BetVictor Championship League Invitational, defeating Judd Trump 3-1 in the final at a packed Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Impressively, this was Higgins’ second consecutive win at the prestigious event, and what’s more his victory earned him a spot in the 2023 Champion of Champions tournament, which will take place in November. In a tense final, Higgins started out strong, making a solid break of 62 to take the opening frame. However, Trump leveled the score with a massive break of 100, the 899th century of his career. Higgins battled hard to regain the lead with a break of 78 and went on to win the fourth frame, despite scrappy play by both players.
After securing his first title win since winning the same event last year, Higgins expressed his joy, stating, “It feels amazing.” He added, “I played really well the last couple of days, I was delighted with the way I hit the ball. It’s a big tournament in its own right now. It gets you into the Champion of Champions. It’s brilliant to win it and hopefully, it can give me a bit of confidence.”
Higgins, who earned a total of £26,500 from the tournament win, also revealed that he has recently been making some changes to his gameplay, stating, “I got some work done to my cue, but I am going back to my roots with the same size of cue. It seemed to work. It’s given me confidence. It’s all about confidence in this game.”
And it seems that these minor changes on the table have served Higgins well so far. Earlier in the tournament, in the semi-final, Higgins defeated Kyren Wilson in a dramatic match. Wilson took an early 2-0 lead with breaks of 137 and 85, but Higgins held his nerve and fought back with breaks of 86, 61, and 66 to win 3-2.
The 2023 Champion of Champions tournament is due to take place at the Bolton Stadium Hotel, University of Bolton Stadium from November 13-19.