Snooker: Great Scots meet for first time on the biggest stage

 

the Crucible

Stephen Hendry and John Higgins have won an impressive 11 world championships between them, but surprisingly they have never played each other on the game's biggest stage.

That is until today when Hendry, the seven-time world champion, and Higgins, a four-time Crucible winner and defending champion, go head to head for the first time at the sport's spiritual home in Sheffield.

Although their form could not be more different going into what promises to be a mouthwatering best-of-25-frames duel, they both expect to have to produce their best in their bids to progress to the quarter-finals.

Hendry pocketed a maximum 147 break in his 10-4 first-round victory over Stuart Bingham, but compatriot Higgins was taken the distance in a 10-9 opening win against Liang Wenbo, a Chinese qualifier.

Hendry believes he is a clear "underdog" despite having been the more impressive of the two players in the first round. "I may not be any longer at the stage where I am competing for titles as much as John is over the past few years, so I will be a much bigger underdog than some of the matches, say, where I played Steve Davis when we were more evenly matched in terms of rankings," said Hendry.

"In terms of who has done what recently, John will be favourite. This is a match between two players who have achieved a lot in the game, and I remember certain matches against Steve for that reason. There were a couple of semi-finals at the Crucible in particular. This match means a lot. I will enjoy it and am really looking forward to it."

Higgins has stressed he will have to play much better to keep his hopes alive of a fifth world crown, but is also relishing the showdown. "I can't wait for [it] because it [should] be a great match," said Higgins. The defending champion also joked: "I came in to have a little practice before the match and Stephen just kicked me off the practice table. I'm not too happy about that – maybe it's some mind games before the big one."

Ali Carter, the 2008 runner-up, will face Judd Trump, last year's beaten finalist, in the last 16 tomorrow after he defeated qualifier Mark Davis 10-2. Ahead 8-1 overnight, Carter needed just 45 minutes to progress thanks to breaks of 44, 48 and 132.

Australian Neil Robertson, the 2010 winner, fought back from 3-1 down to build a 5-3 overnight lead over David Gilbert, a qualifier from Tamworth.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Recruitment Genius: Chef

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Chef is required to join one of the largest ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is required to jo...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor