Snooker: Higgins cruises into final

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JOHN HIGGINS, one of the brightest of the new generation of players, reached his first ranking tournament final at Derby's Assembly Rooms last night. The 19- year-old from Wishaw became the first player through to Sunday's final of the Skoda Grand Prix when he beat Belfast's Joe Swail 9-5.

Higgins, up 16 places on the provisional ranking list to 35 but a certainty to go higher, underlined his promise with a 5-0 whitewash of the world No 9, Ronnie O'Sullivan, in the previous round. His semi- final display never touched those heights but he comfortably overpowered a tentative Swail.