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
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: Software Implementation and Support Consultant

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A consultant is required to pro...

Recruitment Genius: Office Assistant

£12675 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Assistant is required...

Recruitment Genius: Lead Software Developer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Case Handler / Probate Assistant

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn