John Higgins picked up his ticket to the last-32 of the Zhiyuan World Open after securing a win over China’s Lu Ning. Higgins, representing the class of ’92, made sure of his qualification with a win over the Chinese. However, the win didn’t come easy for the Scot.
The world number six was pushed all the way by Lu, who he must have thought would be an easy walkover. Lu Nig, ranked 56 places below the Scot recovered from 3-1 to put it level as 3-3.
Higgins took that 3-1 lead with a top break of 81 before bowing to a brilliant recovery from Ning. The following two frames were shared to make it 4-4 before Higgins got the better of the deciding game. The win in the final frame was helped by a run of 48.
John Higgins is priced at 1.41 to eliminate Mark Davis, while Davis is pegged at 2.85 to win Higgins.
Elsewhere, Thepchaiya shoved Zhang Yiang to secure his fixture against Craig Steadman in the last-32. Thepchaiya recorded two centuries and was helped to win with breaks of 104, 85, 102, and 65.
Also, Mark Allen recorded a hard-fought victory against the former world champion Ken Doherty. Two-time World Champion, Allen raced to a 4-0 win, helped by a huge break of 130 coming in frame two and a run of 67.
Ken Doherty then reduced the huge lead by claiming three frames on the bounce. A break of 77, however, sealed the deal in favour of Allen. The world number 7 successfully fended off his opponent to secure a place in the last-32.
Jack Lisowski, perhaps had the easiest fixture, taking a leisure walk over Luo Honghao. Lisowski recorded a 5-1 win over his opponent to secure his ticket to the last-32. He is now set to take on Xiao Guodoung in the next round.
Dominic Dale, who turned heads yesterday when be knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan has now come to the end of the road. Dale ended his fairytale run with a loss against Fergal O’Brien. The latter made breaks of 103 and 107 to make a strong statement against his opponent. The game ended 5-3 in favour of O’Brien.
Mark Allen is fancied at 1.23 to defeat An Da Zhang in his next fixture, while Zhang is backed at 4.03 to win the encounter.
Written by: Roland Arum