Higgins- Top Trio Have Pulled Ahead

John Higgins believes that Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson will be the men to beat at thewilliamhill.com UK Championship, which starts next week.



The £700,000 tournament at the York Barbican runs from November 26 to December 8 and will feature 128 players all starting in the same round for the first time.



Higgins, a three-time UK and four-time World Champion himself, feels that that a trio of top stars are currently ahead of the chasing pack.



“Ronnie O’Sullivan is hard to gage because he doesn’t play that many tournaments, but in the big events like this he is always one of the favourites,” said Higgins. “Neil Robertson is world number one by a distance and the rankings don’t lie. And Ding Junhui is just in fantastic form at the moment. He has matured a lot as a person and a player in recent months. He is the complete package on the table and he has unbelievable talent.”



Wizard of Wishaw Higgins made a strong start to the current season - in June he won a European Tour event in Bulgaria and reached the final of the Wuxi Classic, where he lost to Neil Robertson. But since then he hasn’t been past the last 16 of any tournament.



“I have been faffing about with technique this season and trying different cues,” he said. “Now I’m trying to get back to basics and it feels better. Throughout my career, even when I was winning a lot of titles, I’ve always had the feeling that the grass would be greener if I could improve my technique or my cue.



“I know my faults and I usually know how to correct them. But there have been times during tournaments when I’ve changed something and it hasn’t worked and then I don’t know how to fix it, which is a horrible feeling.



“The UK Championship is a huge tournament and I would love to do well in York this year. It’s good to have a new format with everyone starting in the same round. You face new opponents and it gives a chance for more players to compete at the venue and get experience playing on TV.”



TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE and start at just £8 (concessions £4), phenomenal value for a top class sporting event. Call 0844 854 2757 or book online at yorkbarbican.co.uk or worldsnooker.com/tickets



williamhill.co.uk UK Championship winner:

9/2 Ronnie O’Sullivan

7/1 Ding Junhui

7/1 Neil Robertson

8/1 Judd Trump

8/1 Mark Selby

12/1 John Higgins

14/1 Mark Allen

20/1 Shaun Murphy

22/1 Marco Fu

22/1 Stephen Maguire

28/1 Barry Hawkins

33/1 Allister Carter

33/1 Graeme Dott

33/1 Mark Williams

33/1 Stuart Bingham

50/1 BAR