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John Higgins denies Kyren Wilson to reach magnificent seventh World Championship final

Higgins consoles Wilson at the end of the match (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

John Higgins progressed to his seventh World Championship final after a thrilling 17-13 victory over Kyren Wilson at The Crucible on Saturday.

Twenty years after reaching his first world final and going on to lift the title, the 42-year-old produced another vintage display to edge out one of the sport's brightest emerging stars.

The Wishaw ace lost out to Mark Selby in last year's final but continued his charge towards a fifth world crown with another granite performance in Sheffield.

Higgins had maintained a two-frame lead following each of the first three sessions, moving 5-3, 9-7 and 13-11 in front before claiming four of the last six to secure an emptional win.

He will now take on two-time World Champion Mark Williams or 2013 runner-up Barry Hawkins in Sunday's final.

"I'm just proud," Higgins told BBC Sport. "You just got the aura off him that he thought he was going to win and pot everything.

"He's tough to play against because you no matter where you leave him you think he's going to pot everything and it was only really in the last session he missed a couple of long ones.

"He's a great young man, a great ambassador and he'll be back.

"Last year was a massive defeat for me but to come back here and make the final again is great.

"There's plenty left. I won't be playing anyone like Mark Selby in the final but it'll be one of two unbelievable players.

"I can't wait, I had an unbelievable time last year and whatever happens, I'll just enjoy it."

Kyren Wilson watches on as John Higgins plays a shot (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)
Thursday's opening session saw Higgins open up a 4-1 lead with breaks of 57, 65, 77 and 69 before Wilson replied with breaks of 52 and 140 en route to reducing the deficit to 5-3.

Higgins then stretched his lead to 7-4 on Friday morning before Wilson made breaks of 65 and 74 in clawing back to 9-7 adrift at the halfway stage.

Wilson began the evening session with a terrific break of 124, and after Higgins hit back with successive breaks of 56 and 75, the Masters runner-up made an 81 to trail 11-9.

The Kettering cueist claimed two of the next three frames with clinical breaks of 106 and 93 to make further inroads on the deficit but a timely 91 break saw Higgins restore a two-frame cushion at 13-11.

A break of 96 handed Wilson a dream start to Saturday's final session but Higgins went on to dominate frame 26 and follow up with a magnificent clearance of 136 to make it 15-12.

Wilson responded with a break of 53 but Higgins turned on the style once again with his second century (100) and sealed the win in superb fashion with a break of 98.

Wilson admitted: "It's such a hard tournament do to well in, it's my first experience of the one-table setup. 

"I think the first session was probably my undoing in this match. It's all experience and I'm looking forward to coming back next year and doing better.

"I'm only 26, there's plenty of things to look forward to in my career. 

"John is world class, he's absolute granite and a fantastic ambassador for the sport."


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John Higgins denies Kyren Wilson to reach magnificent seventh World Championship final

John Higgins progressed to his seventh World Championship final after a thrilling 17-13 victory over Kyren Wilson at The Crucible on Saturday.

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