Higgins has new respect for Jimmy White after successive defeats

John Higgins says he has gained more respect for legendary Crucible nearly man Jimmy White following his World Snooker Championship final defeat to Mark Williams.

Higgins lost 18-16 to Williams on Monday despite mounting a sensational fightback, finishing as runner-up for the second year in a row - Mark Selby the winner last time around.

White has famously never won the world title, despite reaching the final on six occasions, including a run of five consecutive defeats - four of them to Stephen Hendry - from 1990 to 1994.

And, while Higgins can look back on four successful campaigns in Sheffield, the pain of losing consecutive finals has given him a new appreciation of the heartbreak felt by White a quarter of a century ago.

"Although I had an unbelievable amount of respect for Jimmy White as a player, for him to come back six times, lose six finals and still be a class act on and off the table," he said.

"That's me lost in two finals in a row and it's heartbreaking.

"But for him to do that, I can only imagine what he went through, coming back every year and going again. It's tough."

Higgins closed from 14-7 to 15-15 in what will go down as one of the Crucible's all-time great finals and says he has no reason to be unhappy with his performance.

"I wasn't giving in easily, and even when Mark was closing me out at 14-7, I wasn't really getting clear-cut chances and missing easy chances," he added.

"I was getting little half chances and I was breaking down and then Mark was clinical in punishing me.

"So I wasn't getting too down on myself at 14-7. I was still upbeat about my game and then luckily it changed round and Mark missed a few times at 50 or 60 in front and I managed to clear up and that got me back in the game.

"It's like a drug this game and that atmosphere tonight, that one-table setup in the Crucible; if I never get there again, at least I can say I've been there a few times to sample it. It's amazing."

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