Promising Sheffield snooker player Joel Walker is relishing the challenge of taking on John Higgins in next week’s Indian Open.
It will be the first time in his fledgling career Walker, who trains at Hustler’s Sports Bar, Eckington, has played the four-time world champion in a competitive tournament.
Walker, who reached the last 32 of the Wuxi Classic in China earlier this season, faces Higgins, ranked 10th in the world, in the best of seven frames format on Tuesday morning.
Walker told The Telegraph: “It is a dream come true for me to be playing John in a ranking tournament. When I was growing up, I used to love watching John and Ronnie O’Sullivan on TV. I would love to make my TV debut against John.”
India has never previously staged a ranking tournament before. The event, which takes place at the Meridien Hotel in New Delhi and will run from October 14-18, will feature 64 of the world’s top players and will offer prize money of £300,000, with £50,000 going to the winner.
Walker, beaten by Alfie Burden in the early stages of the Ruhr Open last week, said: “It will be a good experience going to India as it is a place I have always wanted to go.
“I know I am capable of beating John. I have just got to hit top form.
“It will be as tough as playing Ronnie [O’Sullivan]. I know I have got to start beating these top players
“It is a best of seven frame format so anything can happen.”