Higgins pleased with form

John Higgins insists his game has improved for the World Championship and is happy to enter the tournament as an underdog (Higgins 14/1 to win 2014 World Championship).

Higgins is searching for his first major ranking title since 2012 at the Crucible and begins his bid against fellow Scot Alan McManus on Monday (Higgins 2/9, McManus 10/3 – Match Betting).

The four-time world champion has struggled for form this season and was knocked out of the Masters in the quarter-finals after a 6-5 defeat to defending champion Mark Selby.

And while many consider Higgins to have only an outside chance of winning the  World Championship in Sheffield, the 38-year-old believes he is showing signs of improvement ahead of his first-round match.

“I am one of the underdogs this year and that suits me fine,” said Higgins.

“Put it this way, I don’t mind heading to Sheffield feeling my best bit of the season is in front of me rather than behind me.

“Two months ago I wouldn’t have been looking forward to it. I’m not getting carried away but my game is coming along.”

Should Higgins beat McManus he will face Dubliner Ken Doherty in the last 16 on Friday.

The Wizard of Wilshaw last won the World Championship in 2011, with his last title coming in the Shanghai Masters almost two years ago.

Higgins came close to ending his drought in the Wuxi Classic in China last year but was beaten 10-7 in the final by Australian Neil Robertson (8/1 to win 2104 World Championship).

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