Andrew Higginson is chomping at the bit to grace the Berlin baize and face Ronnie O’Sullivan in the opening round of the German Masters.
The world number 19 was devastated at failing to qualify for the UK Championship after losing to Steve Davis meant missing out on a first-round draw with O’Sullivan, but in February he will have his chance to shine against the three-time world champion. People looking at the best snooker betting odds will be wondering if the player can make a breakthrough.
“To play him in front of a crowd of 2,500 in Berlin will be brilliant,” the 34-year-old from Widnes told World Snooker. “It will be like playing in the Masters. I’m sure I’ll have a few butterflies but I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Playing Ronnie will be weird because I’ve never played him before, and I could have played him in two consecutive ranking events if I’d qualified for the UK. I’ve practised with him before so I know he’s something special, the most gifted player I’ve ever seen.”
Three victories in the qualification stages for the 12th and last event of the Players Tour Championship against Dominic Dale, Mark King and Jamie Jones secured his berth in Germany.
A maiden professional title at the fifth Players Tour Championship event, as well as this latest qualification should prove enough to keep Higginson fully motivated.
“Looking back to the UK Championship qualifiers, I lost 6-2 to Steve Davis and it was one of the worst performances of my pro career,” Higginson added.
“It was just a horrible match, we both played badly and I was worse than him. Steve is a legend and one of the greatest players ever so I really wanted to win.
“But I just felt uncomfortable from the start and couldn’t see the shots. It was one of those days you just have to try to put behind you.”