“John was unbelievable this week, fantastic, played brilliant snooker, masterclass today and it’s good to see such a great player back winning.
“It’s good for snooker, that you don’t see very often. I’m happy for John and his family.”
While champion Higgins declared: “It’s the best week I’ve ever had. I’ve won world titles and different tournaments but for the whole week, the way I’ve felt, the calibre of players I’ve come up against, I’ve managed to win quite convincingly.
“It’s not really like me to do that. Now normally I’d be scrapping it out, final frame deciders and the like. But this week I’ve done like a Ronnie, I’ve been through the field pretty easy.
“It’s a brilliant feeling, a brilliant feeling. I’ve said it there’s nobody in the game who has got more respect than I’ve got for Ronnie.
“The best ever. So for me to beat the best ever tonight, it’s a brilliant feather in my cap. Brilliant.”