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Higgins survives Daqing disaster

John Higgins managed to avoid a banana skin at the Baihu Media Broadcasting Centre in Daqing as he secured his place in the first round of the International Championship on Sunday.

The Scot, who lost out to Judd Trump in the World Championship final back in May, currently sits in fifth place in the world rankings and an early exit in China would have come as a real shock for ‘The Wizard of Wishaw’.

Higgins was made to work hard for his place in the first round In Daqing, as his qualifying encounter with the 15-year-old Wu Yize went right down to a decisive frame.

Things looked even worse for Higgins proceeding that, as the Scotsman had to battle back from 4-5 down, with the young Chinaman just one frame away from an amazing scalp.

The 44-year-old Higgins managed to draw from all his years of experience to get him over the line against the Under-21 world champion who managed just 13 points in the last two frames.

Irish veteran Ken Doherty was not as lucky in his hopes of progressing as he suffered a 6-2 defeat at the hands of David Gilbert, while Gary Wilson took down another experience player in the form of Peter Ebdon with a 6-1 victory.

Home favourite Ding Junhui also required 11 frames to come out on top in his encounter with supposed lesser opposition in world number 93 Simon Lichtenberg.

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