The four-times world champion has been telling the media for the past month that this could be the highest standard in world snooker history and had informed Eurosport that a 147 was "definitely" going to be made this year.

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The stunning clearance from the Scotsman came in the 12th frame against heavy-scoring Norwegian Kurt Maflin behind closed doors at the Sheffield venue as he reduced the deficit to trail the world number 43 7-5 behind closed doors.

The man dubbed the 'Wizard of Wishaw' joins Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White, Ali Carter and Mark Williams as the only players to make maximums since the World Championship was first staged by the Crucible in 1977.

Watch John Higgins clinch 'fantastic' 147 to make history at World Snooker Championship

It is the 11th maximum at the televised stages of the event, Higgins' first at the tournament since his debut as a teenager in 1995 and the first since Stephen Hendry's 147 in 2012. Thorburn made the first Crucible 147 in 1983.

“I think it will be (the greatest standard)," said Higgins. "I know players like to have the crowd and it generates a buzz they can feed off, but I also think there will be a lot of players who go there and really relax. They might bring their practice form on to the main table.

“If you ask the 32 guys that are going to playing, they’d tell you their practice form is usually better than their championship form.

“So doing the calculations I definitely think there will be a maximum break. There will be at least one.

147 in full: Watch John Higgins' stunning World Snooker Championship maximum

“I know last year the century breaks record was broken, but I think that could be in danger as well.

“I just think everybody is going to have really put the work in during the last month and really getting ready for it.

“Everybody will be coming into the tournament fresh, so that’s the way I think it will go.

“I think most players would have had two or three hard weeks of practice. That’s more than enough to give someone the confidence to go there and play well. Without a shadow of a doubt.”

Watch John Higgins clinch 'fantastic' 147 to make history at World Snooker Championship

Higgins' 147 could earn him £55,000, £40k for the maximum and an extra £15k for the tournament's highest break.

Crucible 147 breaks

  • Stephen Hendry (Sco) 3 – 1995, 2009, 2012
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) 3 – 1997, 2003, 2008
  • John Higgins (Sco) 1 – 2020
  • Allister Carter (Eng) 1 – 2008
  • Mark Williams (Wal) 1 – 2005
  • Jimmy White (Eng) 1 – 1992
  • Cliff Thorburn (Can) 1 – 1983
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