David Gilbert takes a lead into the final session of the semi-final (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)David Gilbert may have missed his best chance to beat John Higgins in the Snooker World Championship semi-final, reckons Stephen Hendry.
Gilbert is taking a 13-11 lead into the final session of the best of 33 contest, but it could have been even better for the Englishman.
Higgins was playing well below his best on Friday, but Gilbert didn’t quite take advantage as much as he could have done, with the Scot winning the final two frames of the evening to reduce his arrears.
The first-time semi-finalist holds an advantage over the four-time world champion, but Hendry believes he might live to regret not opening up more of a lead when it seemed possible.
John Higgins battled through the third session on Friday evening (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)‘John Higgins is back to within two frames and I wonder if David Gilbert’s missed the boat,’ Hendry told Coral. ‘It was a poor session from both players last night.
‘It’s the first time David Gilbert’s got to this stage of the tournament, you wonder whether, with the length of the tournament, if fatigue is setting in. He wasn’t able to take advantage of John Higgins’ poor play.
‘John Higgins is right back in it, I can see that match going the whole way. David Gilbert has maybe missed a trick where he hasn’t moved into a position where he couldn’t lose this final in the last session.
‘It’s now all to play for. John Higgins was back, yesterday, to some of the stuff he’s played this season. Bereft of confidence and making elementary mistakes.
‘Being the animal he is at the Crucible, he never gives in and David Gilbert failed to put him away and he could have won that match in the third session, not literally.’
In the other semi-final, Judd Trump leads Gary Wilson going into the final session on Saturday evening.
Seven-time world champion Hendry thinks that the pre-match favourites are now proving their worth, and admits that he would like to see Higgins and Trump meet in a repeat of the 2011 final.
‘I said we had to look at the possibility of a Wilson v Gilbert final, but are these two players just finding the length of this tournament and the mental stamina required a bit too much? We’ll find out,’ continued Hendry.
‘I’d like to see a Trump v Higgins final, no disrespect to the other two, but I’d like to see them battle it out in the final, that would be great.’
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