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Luca Brecel beats John Higgins to win the Scottish Open and takes opponents to their fourth final defeat of the season

LUCA BRECEL added another final blow to John Higgins as he won the Scottish Open title on Sunday night.

The 26-year-old Belgian has just enjoyed second-division success with a 9-5 victory over his illustrious opponent at the event’s temporary home ground, Llandudno.

Brecel celebrates after winning the Scottish Open

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Brecel celebrates after winning the Scottish Open
Higgins has lost all four finals he has competed in this season

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Higgins has lost all four finals he has competed in this seasonCredit: PA

It was a sweet moment for world number 18 Brecel, who just a week earlier had lost the UK Championship final to Chinese Zhao Xintong in York.

He lifted the Stephen Hendry trophy, pocketed £70,000 first prize and will be the 2nd seed this week Billiards World Grand Prix for the top 32 performers this season.

But painful for the four-time world champion Higgins46 years old, he has now lost all 4 finals this season.

Scot’s Great Rival Ronnie O’Sullivan lost all five games in his last season.

Despite being the most stable player of the campaign world, No7 Higgins, who won the last of his two Open in Scotland in 1996, still without any silverware.

He lost both the Northern Ireland and British Open finals 9-8 after leading Mark Allen and Neil Robertson 8-6 respectively – and was then beaten by Judd Trump in the Champion of Champions.


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Brecel was a kid snooker prodigy as a young teenager, and his prodigious talent meant there were some surprises as he only won the Chinese championship in 10 years touring. .

But he struggled with the enormous expectations and dedication required after going on tour at a very young age at the age of 16.

And Brecel has also struggled to overcome his slump, shoulder injuries and related problems with depression – however he has looked sharp this term and it is imminent.

But there was even more disappointment and grief for Higgins, who excelled to beat O’Sullivan 6-1 in the semi-finals.

Along with his fourth overall defeat in just eight weeks, he may have set the enduring record for the longest gap between first and most recent ranked wins at 27 years.

It was the first win in a major event against Higgins for Brecel, who joked before the final that if this was Belgium v Scotland in football it would be 9-0.

Brecel, who won it with a stunning 127 break, said: “I feel great. I told John it was an honor to play with him, so beating him in a final is great.

“I’m happy to move through the ranks because he’s the worst to see coming back to you from 8-2. This victory after losing the final in Great Britain is a big thing for me, and I can hardly believe it.

Brecel won the final with 127

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Brecel won the final with 127Credit: PA

“Now I need a Coventry lift because there is no time to rest before the next tournament. One more week and I have four weeks, let’s go home, see family and watch darts. ”

Higgins, who fought bravely from 8-2, said: “Luca played so well today, he really was. We are so lucky in snooker right now, we have young stars and followers who want to be the next Luca.

“I’m really pleased for his family, they’ve been everywhere with him since he started but couldn’t be here this week. He is a great addition and will be one of the best in the world.

“It is crazy that Luca is the Scottish Open champion, runner-up in the UK and he will not be attending the Masters. Something should be done, he should be there. But I will go again next week”.

Both players are hungry to lift a trophy – with Higgins having finished second three times this term and Brecel receiving consecutive defeats in the British Championship final.

Who won the Scottish Open in Wales will end up as a future quiz question answer.

But Brecel was much quicker to clear the trap, taking a 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 96 and 61.

Higgins froze the Belgian to get on the board in goal four.

But Brecel carried on, stealing the next two goals after Higgins had chances in both to take a 5-1 lead.

And after breaking 70 points from Scot, he finished the afternoon 6-2 after running 104 points.

In dire need of the first frame of the evening, Higgins broke early and Brecel went ahead with a break at 79 – before bringing himself to the brink with a 64 run.

Higgins took three wins on the spin to pull it back to 8-5 – but Brecel took his chance in frame 14 to close it with a century.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17020919/brecel-beats-higgins-win-scottish-open/ Luca Brecel beats John Higgins to win the Scottish Open and takes opponents to their fourth final defeat of the season

Ashley

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