/ Snooker

Higgins aiming to move on from poor season

Updated: Thursday, 12 Apr 2012 10:54

John Higgins has not won since his victory at the Crucible Theatre in 2011
John Higgins has not won since his victory at the Crucible Theatre in 2011

World Snooker Champion John Higgins is aiming to put a "very bad" season behind him when he defends his title later this month.

The four-time champion often plays his best snooker at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield but he faces a battle this year after failing to win a tournament and falling to sixth in the world rankings following his 2011 World Championship triumph.

He said: "The season's been very bad so far, I've not played well at all and I've not been putting enough effort into my game, but I'm hoping to rectify that in the next two or three weeks.

"I go away next Friday and hopefully I can get two weeks' good practice in and play well. It's always tough to go down as defending champion, I've done it three times now and I'll obviously do my best, but it's getting tougher every year.

"I'm getting older and the players are getting younger and better, and maybe my eyesight's going a little bit as well.

"I still think I'm good enough that I can maybe go down and win it but I'll just have to wait and see."

In May 2010 Higgins was filmed by the News of the World newspaper allegedly agreeing to accept #261,000 in return for agreeing to fix the outcome of four frames in matches to be played later that year.

He strenuously denied any wrongdoing but was handed a six-month suspension and fined #75,000 after admitting, along with his then manager Pat Mooney, "intentionally giving the impression to others that they were agreeing to act in breach of the betting rules" and failing to report the matter to World Snooker.

The more serious charges of "agreeing or offering" to accept bribes and "agreeing to engage in corrupt or fraudulent conduct" were withdrawn by the association following a two-day hearing in London.

The 36-year-old returned to the game at the end of 2010, and his time away from the table provided extra motivation ahead of the 2011 World Championship.

He said: "After everything that happened, who knows, maybe you're fated to do things in life and maybe that was my moment to go on and win that.

"It was a great moment for everybody involved and everyone who is close to me and I would love to do it again, but I'm now one of the older guys - I've got the grey hair to prove it as well - but hopefully I can use my experience."

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