That'll do us
Thanks for your company through the evening, join us from 12.45pm tomorrow for the first session of the final between Judd Trump and John Higgins.
Take care out there until then, night night.
Champion of Champions
‘He just blitzed me’ - Higgins applauds Trump after Champion of Champions defeat
John Higgins is through to the Champion of Champions final
Less than two weeks ago John Higgins was in bits at the end of the English Open final after dropping the decider to Neil Robertson. He questioned himself, his game, and openly doubted whether he still had it in him to win tournaments. If moxie under pressure is one of the key components to lifting silverware, then stand on me he's got the reserves needed. Can he go to the well? Mate, he's got the deeds to the well. It's a rough one for Yan, but he'll have better days; he just walked into a wall of granite tonight called John Higgins. In truth neither Higgins or Yan played well here, and Higgins will have to find some other gear to take on the in-form Judd Trump in the final. That's a problem for another day though - or it would be, if it wasn't already Sunday.
Higgins 6-5 Yan
An 89 seals the victory, and this epic, long haul battle is over.
Higgins 5-5 Yan (69-0)
A blue takes Higgins to 68, off which he's forced to gamble on running into the pack. He doesn't land conveniently on any of the remaining six reds, but wait a second...he doubles one loose red into the right middle and the match is a done deal! That's another superb shot under pressure, what a player this man is.
Higgins 5-5 Yan (54-0)
My days this is tense, as Higgins rightly takes his time with each and every shot. There are reds open but not that far apart, so this break needs precise cueing and position. Higgins requires the spider to pick off one red, and the black that follows takes him to a half-century. He's not far away now.
Higgins 5-5 Yan (31-0)
After three reds and blacks Higgins misses a canon onto another red, finding an almost impossible gap through the cluster to leave his next red awkward. He recovers, bridging over the blue to plug a red to the bottom left, and he's back in control now. It's a nice spread, and Yan's only strategy is hope from here on.
Higgins 5-5 Yan (9-0)
After taking a brief break out of the arena both players are welcomed back to thunderous applause, and there's a nice moment of acknowledgement between Yan and Higgins before we start frame eleven. They both know they've been in a real battle tonight. Higgins gets the first sniff of a pot, and goes front foot; the red tears into the bottom right, but leaves the cue ball welded to the left rail. Unflustered, Higgins drops the black deadweight into the bottom right and he's got a real chance here.
Higgins 5-5 Yan
Red-black-red secures the frame for Yan, who adds 14 in total to treat us to a post-midnight supper in Shredsville.
Higgins 5-4 Yan (1-59)
It's a half-century for Yan, but in going in and out of baulk off the blue he overruns his intended next red which leaves a thin cut to the bottom left using the full set of cue extensions. It doesn't go close, but he's sent the white back to baulk for insurance. Higgins can see the angle to cut the same red into the same pocket however, and clips it in. That leaves a long green to the same pocket, which jaws out. A reprieve for Yan then, and a chance to put this one away.
Higgins 5-4 Yan (0-38)
Yan is not for being ruffled either, draining a superb long red into the bottom left and drifting the cue ball across to land perfectly on the black. He's not hanging around either, picking off reds at a rate and developing a frame-winning opportunity in no time at all.
Higgins 5-4 Yan
The man is made from titanium. He didn't make it easy, leaving blue and pink more taxing than they should be, but Higgins does the necessary and he's now one frame away from the final. Can Yan force a decider?
Higgins 4-4 Yan (56-55)
Higgins drains the red, followed by the brown to drop in behind the red on the right rail. That goes too, clean as a whistle, but after potting the blue he leaves a difficult cut on yellow to left middle. The thing about John Higgins is, he's John Higgins; he slices the yellow into the heart of the pocket and lands perfectly on the green. What a shot at such a moment! He needs up to and including the pink to win the frame.
Higgins 4-4 Yan (43-55)
Now then, here's a look for Yan; Higgins catches the upper knuckle of the right middle from a safety, and he's left a mid-range red across the table to the bottom right. Yan calmly drops it in, and he's on the black. Slowly but surely he picks off what's out there, and takes the lead in the frame. There are three reds left out there, two of which are near cushions, so there's a bit to do yet. He drops on one of the reds to the bottom left, but tries to force it in and he's missed it. There's a chance for Higgins now, as it's on to the right middle.
Higgins 4-4 Yan (43-4)
Higgins moves to 43 by blasting the black into the bottom right, bouncing off the bottom cushion to split the pack. It's a glancing blow though, and doesn't leave him anything to go at. His safety is a shocker too, as he sends the white in-off into the green pocket. Fortunately for Higgins, there's nothing on for Yan from the D.
Higgins 4-4 Yan (22-0)
There are signs of nerves out there now, as both players miss attempts at reds by a long way at the start of a pivotal frame here. Yan then misses another, rolling a red to right middle out off the knuckles, and he's left Higgins on a simple starter to the bottom left. He shorts position on the blue thereafter but recovers it quickly, and there's plenty in the open for him to score off.
Higgins 4-4 Yan
It's a 70 from Yan, and we're now down to best of three for a place in the final tomorrow. I hope these two weren't planning on watching Match of the Day.
Higgins 4-3 Yan (4-51)
There's the split he needs! Yan drops a red into the bottom right, splitting the cluster as he does so to land on the black. That soon disappears, and it's a half-century that should very shortly morph into a frame-winning clearance.
Higgins 4-3 Yan (4-22)
Yan will feel better about this; he's just deadweighted a long red into the yellow pocket and lands on the yellow. It's a chance, and he soon develops the pack when potting the blue. The split could be kinder, only leaving a difficult red to the right middle, but Yan bullets it in and he could be in for a load if he can give the pack a more emphatic wallop soon.
Higgins 4-3 Yan (4-0)
If you can indeed have momentum in a match moving at this glacial pace, then it's certainly with Higgins. Yan could do with a cathartic 60 or 70 plus visit here to get himself going. Both players miss attempts at reds at the start of frame eight, and from one such effort Yan leaves one in the jaws of the yellow pocket. Higgins snaffles it, followed by a wafer thin green, but can add no more.
Higgins 4-3 Yan
A 70 from Higgins puts him 37 in front, and he plays safe off the final red. Yan, only needing one snooker, surprisingly stays in his seat and concedes the frame. That's three on the spin for Higgins, and he leads for the first time.
Higgins 3-3 Yan (55-23)
A nice split on a cluster of three reds below the pink has really opened this up for Higgins now. A black takes him to 48 in the break, before he picks a red off adjacent to the pink and near the black spot. Higgins then plugs the pink for his half ton and shifts the final three reds off the bottom cushion as he does so. That's such a delicate, classy shot and it should win him the frame.
Higgins 3-3 Yan (16-23)
Yan gets in again but can only add six. Higgins then responds with an outstanding long red into the bottom left, followed by a black along the rail into the same bag and he's in. It's not a gimme of a chance as the reds are still bunched, but he could make it one.
Higgins 3-3 Yan (0-17)
Yan gets the first red of frame seven down, but can't add to it; he thin picks up four as Higgins misses a thin contact safety on a red, which leaves a red on across the table and into the bottom left. Yan drives it home, and he's on the pink. He can only make 12 though before overshooting position on the reds and having to play back to baulk.
Higgins 3-3 Yan
We're denied the ton as Higgins misses a black to left middle, but that 89 is more than enough to even this up.
Higgins 2-3 Yan (71-5)
This is better from Higgins, who seems to have found something since the interval. He bags his half-century, and a black to bottom left secures the frame. He'll be level shortly, and it'll be best of five for a place in the final tomorrow.
Higgins 2-3 Yan (25-5)
Higgins finally gets a red down via a plant to the bottom right, but can't fashion position on a colour thereafter. Yan then gets in for real, courtesy of an outrageous fluke that sees the white then land on the brown. With near perfect comic timing for anyone getting exasperated at the slow development of events tonight however, he loses position immediately and his break ends on five. That serves up a chance to Higgins, who snicks in a thin red to the bottom left, and his visit soon develops into a chance proper.
Higgins 2-3 Yan (6-0)
Yan catches pink first from a safety to give up six at the start of frame six. We're bogged down in a safety exchange again though, and we haven't had a ball down yet in the opening 13 minutes. In short odds news, we could be going until the wee hours to sort this one out.
Higgins 2-3 Yan
We're done, as Higgins tags in the final red and lays a brutal snooker in baulk. Yan doesn't even get out of his chair, and it's frame to Higgins.
Higgins 1-3 Yan (64-26)
With three reds to go Higgins loses position slightly, but recovers by drilling the pink into the bottom right and flicking a red into a better position for his next shot. It looks to have gone wrong a few shots later too as he shorts positional badly on the second to last red, but cuts it in brilliantly to retain control of the frame. A snooker follows, from which Yan misses, and Higgins now leads by 38 with 35 left out there.
Higgins 1-3 Yan (39-26)
Yan responds with 26, but misses a difficult red with the rest to the bottom left after losing position. A good safety from Higgins forces a chance as Yan leaves a red on to the bototm left, and Higgins drops it in. This is a real chance, with all reds in the open and the pink and blue available. It's 20 and counting in this break so far.
Higgins 1-3 Yan (19-0)
We're back, and Higgins gets in first in frame five with a gun barrel straight red into the bottom left. It's a reasonable chance, but on 19 he leaves himself short on position on a red and undercuts it to the bottom left, leaving it over the pocket for Yan.
Higgins 1-3 Yan
That was a long haul, eh? A 74 from Yan takes us to the interval, and he's two in front.
Higgins 1-2 Yan (12-69)
Yan secures the half-century, and brings another red into play when sorting position on the blue. A few shots later he drops in the frame ball pink, and a red into the yellow pocket with the rest thereafter closes the book on this one.
Higgins 1-2 Yan (12-32)
Yan is looking to take maximum advantage here, piling on 32 in no time and with enough reds in the open to secure this in one visit. He's composed himself well here, because it's been a long night so far and we've some distance to go yet.
Higgins 1-2 Yan (12-0)
The average frame time so far is over 41 minutes, this has been a real arm wrestle. Both players miss long yahoos at reds at the start of the fourth, perhaps understandably so given how out of rhythm they are, before Higgins drives a red into the left middle. He makes 12, before wildly missing a red to the bottom left. Yan is right in now, and to boot Higgins has freed up the previously tied up black.
Higgins 1-2 Yan
Higgins gets a look at the blue to the yellow pocket. He rolls it over the hole, leaving Yan no option but to pot it and go for the snookers he needs off the pink. He won't get the chance though, as the white drifts around the table and drops into the bottom left. Yan concedes, and this Homeric frame is over!
Higgins 0-2 Yan (66-41)
After almost 20 minutes Higgins finally gets a look at a pot to win the frame, but can't convert a mid-range brown to the green pocket. He lays a good snooker a few shots later though, which forces a miss from Yan which means two snookers are now required. He plays on, potting the brown when there's no other option, and on we go with the final three balls. It's now been 25 minutes since Higgins got so far in front that Yan needed snookers.
Higgins 0-2 Yan (62-37)
With no obvious safety on Yan pots the yellow, and then does the same with the green a few shots later. This is brutal, attritional snooker and if Higgins is to win this frame he's being made to work for it.
Higgins 0-2 Yan (62-32)
Yan is making a real go of this, but for every snooker Higgins has a response. Eventually Yan pots the final red with a blue, and will try for the one snooker he requires off the yellow. For the third frame in a row, we're over the half an hour mark.
Higgins 0-2 Yan (62-26)
Higgins drops in frame ball black to move to a half-century, but misses the second to last red along the rail and leaves it in the jaws of the bottom left. Yan needs one snooker to win, and picks off a red and a black before going for it off the final red.
Higgins 0-2 Yan (46-18)
This could be a moment; Yan finishes low on the blue, and in trying to force the white around the angles he misses the pot and he's left Higgins in. It's such a chance, and Higgins runs out of position after his first red only to recover it with a superb, deadweight blue long into the green pocket. The reds are set nicely and Higgins is quickly up to 35 and counting in this break.
Higgins 0-2 Yan (11-7)
We're locked in another safety exchange at the start of the third frame, until Higgins launches in a long red to break the deadlock and land on the brown. He can only make 11 however before missing a red with the rest to the bottom left, and it's a chance for Yan to punish him now. Given the protracted safety exchanges tonight, both players are out of their rhythm. Can Yan get going here?
Higgins 0-2 Yan
A brilliant snooker from Yan, with the white tight behind the black, forces a chance as Higgins escapes but leaves the yellow on to the green pocket. Yan needs to dish, and yellow and green are picked off before he bullets in the brown from distance to come off the bottom cushion and land on the blue. That's a brilliant shot, and the remaining colours are summarily dispatched to give Yan a two frame lead.
Higgins 0-1 Yan (69-54)
Finally one player takes control. Higgins picks off the final red to the yellow pocket, followed by the blue, but can't shift the yellow off the upper left rail. We're onto the colours, and it's as tense as a decider out there.
Higgins 0-1 Yan (63-54)
Higgins picks off a red and black, but can't budge the final red off the rail and we're soon into a safety battle. Yan hands four to Higgins from a miss, and later six when he brushes the pink from a deadweight safety, and we're bogged down in another elongated frame here.
Higgins 0-1 Yan (45-54)
A rapid half-ton from Yan puts him in the lead this frame. There are two reds left on the table, one of which is near the right rail and will need shifting. Now it's Yan's break that derails however, as he misses the second to last red with the rest and leaves it over the right middle. Can Higgins pinch it here?
Higgins 0-1 Yan (45-0)
The break goes to 37 as Higgins partially opens the pack but sees the white slide up the table as he does so. That leaves a red on the stretch to bottom right, an awkward shot but he drops it in to stay on the black. That goes too, but he then rattles a red out of the jaws of the bottom left trying to force position on the black and his break judders to a halt at 45. That's coughed up a great chance for Yan to fire back.
Higgins 0-1 Yan (23-0)
Higgins gets away first in frame two with a thin red to the bottom right. That leaves a tough black, long to the yellow pocket, to keep going; he absolutely middles it, much to the appreciation of Angles McManus in co-comms. What a shot. More importantly, this is a decent chance to register a big break.
Higgins 0-1 Yan
Yan tags in a superb long green, which leaves a brutally tough cut on brown to yellow pocket with the full set of extensions in use. He slices it in superbly though, and he's just about on the blue! That goes too, bulleted into the green pocket, and he lands on the pink he needs for the frame! What composure. Yan rolls the pink in, and that brilliant mini-clearance wins the first frame.
Higgins 0-0 Yan (67-58)
A good safety from Higgins forces a miss from Yan and a free ball. Higgins clips in the yellow, followed by the brown, and with everything in the open this looks a formality. Higgins starts to mop them up, but then misses a virtually straight green to it's own pocket! I did a double take then, that's unbelievable. We're now locked into a battle on these last five balls, as the opening frame passes the 30 minute mark.
Higgins 0-0 Yan (48-58)
Safety ensues, and eventually Higgins misses a thin contact on a red to give away four and serve up a mid-ranger for Yan to the bottom right. In it goes, and Yan starts to counter. Three of the remaining reds are near cushions so it's not an easy dish, but Yan works the white around the table well to take the lead and nudge the final red away from the right rail and leave it on to the green pocket. He takes it on, but misses it without leaving it.
Higgins 0-0 Yan (48-16)
Higgins piles in four reds and blacks, but lands too straight on a red to bottom right near the rail and it jaws out to bring Yan back to the table. It's only brief respite though, as Higgins regains control by potting a red as a shot to nothing and tucking up tight behind the green. Yan escapes, but leaves Higgins a mid-range red to the bottom right and this is a chance to bag the first frame. He can only make 15 though before being forced into a long red to the yellow pocket, and he's missed it.
Higgins 0-0 Yan (1-16)
Yan gets the first chance of the night, and calmly drops in a long red to the bottom right to land on the black. He's quickly into the pack in this break, almost sending a red in-off but leaving a red to right middle to keep going. It catches the high knuckle and stays out though, leaving Higgins a red to the bottom right. It drops - eventually - and Higgins has a good table to go at here.
Our MC Tahir Hajat announces the players into the arena. First to six it is then to face Judd Trump in the final tomorrow.
The master speaks
Stephen Hendry, who knows a fair bit about this game, thinks Yan is nailed on to win the world title in the next five years. Can you get a bigger stamp than that? Higgins will have his say tonight though; it's incredible to remind yourself that Yan hadn't even been born when Higgins bagged his first Crucible crown.
Previously on Higgins versus Yan
You really are doing well in snooker if you can break even with the Wizard. Although Higgins has won both meetings so far this season at the Northern Ireland and English Opens, overall between the two it’s four wins each. Yan has claimed the biggest in that pile, when he beat Higgins 10-8 to win the Masters in January and confirm his status as the greatest prodigy in the game today.
Welcome to live coverage of the second semi-final of the 2021 Champion of Champions from Bolton. Judd Trump is already through to tomorrow’s final after a 6-0 thrashing of Kyren Wilson last night, and we’ll find out who’ll be facing him shortly.
In around 15 minutes John Higgins and Yan Bingtao will be at the baize for a best of 11 to get this sorted.
'I'm nowhere near my brilliant best' – On-fire Trump on whitewash of Wilson
Judd Trump completed his second straight whitewash to reach the Champion of Champions final with a routine 6-0 win over Kyren Wilson on Friday then insisted he has yet to hit top form.
Trump made breaks of 88, 82 and 88 in the first semi-final to overwhelm world number five Wilson, who could not maintain the heavy scoring that saw him contribute three centuries in a 6-4 win over Neil Robertson on Tuesday evening.
Since losing the first frame to David Lilley in a 4-1 win on Monday, Trump has won 16 straight frames including a 6-0 drubbing of Ryan Day in the Group 1 final when he knocked in runs of 104, 67, 68, 52 and 61.
He will face four-times world champion John Higgins or Masters holder Yan Bingtao in Sunday's final with a warning to his next opponent that he has plenty left in the tank.
"I've not really stepped out of second or third gear. I've been consistent, I've played okay, but haven't played anything special," said Trump, who is chasing his first title at the event.
"I've just been how I've been all season. In a couple of events, I've made little mistakes to get knocked out, but I've been nowhere near my brilliant best.
"I've just managed to get that match play under my belt over the last two or three years, to battle through when you are not playing to your absolute best
"At the moment, my B and C game is good enough to compete with the top players."
November 19 - 19:00
19:00 - Judd Trump 6-0 Kyren Wilson
November 20 -19:00
19:00 - Yan Bingtao v John Higgins
Champion of Champions
'Everyone says I only win little events' - Trump responds to critics after latest title
Champion of Champions
Trump wins Champion of Champions for first time with crushing win over Higgins