Mark Selby and John Higgins lock horns in a mouth-watering Group Four final at the Champion of Champions on Monday.
It promises to be a thoroughly entertaining encounter between two of snooker’s heavyweights at the Bolton Whites Hotel, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.
Among the all-time greats – and both ever-presents at the Champion of Champions – Selby and Higgins boast a combined eight World crowns, five UK and Masters triumphs, and 51 ranking titles.
And they go head to head on the big stage once more, having already contested two Crucible finals (2007 and 2017), while also facing off at the latter stages of the Masters and UK Championship.
Selby shades the head-to-head record with 16 wins to Higgins’ 15, although the Scotsman has prevailed in four of the last five meetings.
That included an astonishing 6-0 whitewash in the 2021 Players Championship quarter-finals, where the Wizard hit breaks of 100, 70, 63 and 60 while his opponent registered just seven points.
And 2016 Champion of Champions winner Higgins is relishing another showdown with his fellow four-time Crucible king.
“It’s a game I always look forward to playing,” he told ITV following his 4-2 win over Hossein Vafaei, which he completed with a wonderful break of 118.
“I’ve shared the World final twice with Mark, so you can’t get any bigger occasion than that. It always is a great occasion playing him.
“He’s been one of the top four players for the past decade easily, so you always need to play well against these guys.
“You enjoy it even more now when you’re playing the top boys and in front of a good audience and a great setup here, so I’ll look forward to it.”
Appearing at the Champion of Champions for the first time via the world rankings, Selby’s latest quest for a maiden crown began with breaks of 82 and 88 during a commanding 4-0 victory over World Seniors champion Lee Walker.
“John’s a class act; one of the all-time greats,” the Leicester cueist said.
“We’ve had many battles against each other. I’ve beat him up a few times; he’s beaten me up a few times.
“I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great game.”
Play gets underway at 7pm GMT on Monday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at the Bolton Whites Hotel.
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