Higgins hails snooker’s Class of 92 after securing World Championship quarter-final
John Higgins believes snooker’s famed ‘Class of 92’ are now better than they have ever been after joining Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams in the quarter-finals of the World Championship, writes Ben Parsons.
The 46-year-old matched his legendary rivals O’Sullivan and Williams by reaching the last eight after overcoming Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham with a dominant 13-7 win at the Crucible.
It is the Scot’s 16th visit to the World Championship quarter-finals, where he will take on tournament favourite Neil Robertson or Jack Lisowski.
Higgins, Williams and O’Sullivan already share 13 Crucible crowns between them and have been the most impressive performers so far at the Sheffield showpiece.
The trio all still remain on course to create history by becoming the oldest-ever world champion, three decades after graduating as professionals.
“I think it’s incredible after 30 years that the three of us are better players than we have ever been,” Higgins said.
“I feel as if I am, Williams has played incredibly since he went to the SightRight technology and Ronnie is such a tougher player to play against now where he is scrapping for every frame.
“To say that we’re better players now after 30 years is incredible really.
“The other two guys might have different opinions but looking at them and playing against them, they are better without a doubt.”
Jimmy White, 59, has been rewarded with a two-year invitational tour card by World Snooker which will allow the six-time Crucible finalist to play into his 60s.
And Higgins thinks himself, O’Sullivan and Williams could all follow in the footsteps of White by prolonging their careers beyond another decade.
“I don’t see any reason why not,” he said.
“Mark has plainly said he is not going to retire, who knows with Ronnie and myself? I probably could.”
Higgins won seven consecutive frames in a defining second session to lead 11-5 against Saengkham before sealing his quarter-final spot on Monday afternoon.
World number 38 Saengkham agonisingly missed the final red as he came close to a magical Crucible maximum 147 break to reduce the deficit to 12-7.
But Higgins saw off the mini-revival with a superb 90 and will take on Robertson or Lisowski for a place in the semi-finals, starting on Tuesday.