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Four-time snooker world champion drops retirement hint after tournament exit

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JOHN HIGGINS has hinted that it may be time to hang up the cue after defeat to Mark Allen in the Tour Championship.

The Scot was impressed by Allen’s performance but quickly turned his attention onto the Crucible later this month.

John Higgins lost to Mark Allen in the first round of the Tour Championship

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John Higgins lost to Mark Allen in the first round of the Tour ChampionshipCredit: Alamy
Higgins was impressed by Allen's performance

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Higgins was impressed by Allen’s performanceCredit: Getty

And he suggested it could be his “final go” at the World Championship.

Speaking about the prospect of retirement, Higgins said: “It’s a hard one, it’s a hard one really. Who knows? I love the game, I love playing it, I love competing in it.

“It’s just the off-table side of it, with the practice and different things where I’m just slowly losing that edge to put the practice in and put myself out there.”

The Wizard was beaten by the Pistol 10-7 in the first round of the Tour Championship on Monday night.

Higgins was in the lead with four half-centuries in the first five frames to take a 4-1 lead but began to fall away losing nine of the last 12 frames.

The four-time world champion said: “I thought Mark played very well tonight.

“I should have been in front today, 4-4. Then I thought Mark played better tonight.

“I missed two or three unforgivable balls, at this level you cannot afford to miss and my long game was really non-existent as well.

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“At this level it’s not good enough against the best players.

“I just need to dust myself down. A couple of weeks before the Worlds, try and get some good practice and go there and give it a final go, maybe.”

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Higgins last won a major ranking title with a 10-3 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the 2021 Players Championship.

Depending on how the Scotsman does at the World Snooker Championship this year, it may decide whether it’s time for retirement.

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