2024 Masters: Mark Allen Completes Remarkable Comeback to Beat John Higgins

At the 2024 MrQ Masters, Mark Allen secured a hard-fought victory, prevailing 6-5 over snooker legend John Higgins. The match unfolded with a mix of intense moments and occasional errors, contributing to a gripping atmosphere that held the audience captive. Post-match, Allen shared his thoughts on the competition, expressing gratitude for the challenging encounter and highlighting the fierce competition that makes the Masters a premier event on the snooker calendar.

2024 Masters: Mark Allen Completes Remarkable Comeback to Beat John Higgins
Louis Hobbs

Written by: Louis Hobbs

(Senior Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-01-11

7 minutes read

Allen’s Gritty Comeback

Mark Allen and John Higgins engaged in a gritty battle for a spot in the Masters quarterfinals, characterised by a scrappy affair. Despite facing a 3-1 deficit, Allen showcased resilience, mounting a comeback to secure a 6-5 victory over Higgins. 

 

The match witnessed both players grappling with mid-game losses of form marked by errors, creating a tense and unpredictable atmosphere. For Allen, this triumph marked his first win at Alexandra Palace since claiming the tournament title in 2018. In a decisive move, he closed the match with a composed break of 86 in the deciding frame, solidifying his place in the next round.

Quiet Start, Roaring Finish

Reflecting on the contest, Allen admitted that the crowd, initially subdued, came alive during the decisive frame. "To be honest, I actually thought the crowd were quite quiet, and it was only really before the deciding frame that I thought, no, this is class. This is what we want to play for," said Allen. Despite the mistakes made by both players, he acknowledged the brilliant atmosphere in the crucial moments.

Best Event of the Year

Delving into the overall experience, Allen effusively expressed his appreciation for the Masters, going beyond just his victory on the green baize. He confidently asserted, "There's no doubt in my mind it's the best event of the year now." Allen's praise extended to the efforts of the World Snooker Tour (WST) in recent years, commending them for their phenomenal work in elevating the tournament to unprecedented heights.

 

In particular, Allen drew a significant parallel, indicating that the Masters now stands shoulder to shoulder with the prestigious World Championships held at the iconic Crucible Theatre. His words implied that, with the transformative initiatives implemented by the WST, the Masters has transcended its status to become the marquee event in the snooker calendar. This transformation not only enhances the competition's appeal but also solidifies its reputation as a stage where the 16 finest players converge to showcase their skills and compete at the highest level.

Facing Legends

When questioned about facing snooker legends like Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan, Allen showcased his approach, saying, "They're all-time greats, obviously, but they're all there to be beat, and that's the way I look at it. It's just an opponent on any given day."

 

As for his preparation against such formidable opponents, Allen debunked any special strategies, stating, "Absolutely not. Today, John was just another opponent to me." The Northern Irishman showcased his competitive spirit, emphasising that he approaches every match with the belief that even snooker legends are susceptible to defeat.

 

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Disinterest in Spectating Other Matches

Despite being a fervent snooker fan, the Pistol clarified his approach to the ongoing matches in the tournament, revealing a singular focus on his personal game rather than spectating. In a candid admission, he stated, "No, I don't think I've seen many balls hit this week, to be honest." This statement provides a glimpse into Allen's unwavering commitment to his own preparation during the competition.

 

Even though Allen acknowledged his passion for the sport and its players, his dedication to individual practice takes precedence when he is still a contender for a tournament. His decision not to closely follow the matches in progress underscores his intense concentration on refining his own skills and strategies. Rather than spending time watching others or analysing potential opponents, Allen's priority lies in "knuckling down" and honing his game to ensure he is in optimal form for the challenges that lie ahead.

The Mark Allen Foundation’s Philanthropic Mission

Away from the snooker table, Allen discussed the recently launched ‘Mark Allen Foundation’, a charity he established with three friends. The foundation aims to raise funds to support local people in the community facing various challenges. Allen expressed his desire to give back, particularly to those experiencing difficulties, stating, "I'm in a privileged position that none of that really affects me, and I want to try and give back to those that need it the most."

 

Mark Allen's 6-5 victory over John Higgins not only showcased his resilience on the snooker table but also shed light on his commitment to making a positive impact beyond the sport through the Mark Allen Foundation. As the Masters continues, fans can anticipate more thrilling encounters and, undoubtedly, further displays of skill and sportsmanship from the 37-year-old.

 

Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

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Louis Hobbs

Louis Hobbs

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.

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