/ Snooker

John Higgins strikes back to leave Judd Trump stunned

Updated: Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 15:58 | Comments

John Higgins rattled off five frames in a row to beat Judd Trump
John Higgins rattled off five frames in a row to beat Judd Trump

John Higgins produced a devastating five-frame streak of form as he came back from the brink of defeat to beat Judd Trump at the Haikou World Open.

The 38-year-old Scot looked set to be on the next flight out of China when Trump sped to a 4-0 lead with breaks of 100, 63, 110 and 68, however Higgins returned from the mid-match interval rejuvenated.

He almost made a 147 maximum break in the first frame after the resumption but after 13 reds and blacks he could go no further, stalling on 104, yet the four-time world champion made up for the disappointment as runs of 89, 90, 124 and 63 gave him a stunning 5-4 victory.

Trump had led 38-0 in the deciding frame, but the 24-year-old could not make the most of his opportunity, as Higgins went forward to a quarter-final shot at two-time defending champion Mark Allen, who ousted Ricky Walden 5-2.

Higgins was not the only player to threaten a maximum on Thursday, with Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh just two balls away, missing a difficult pink on 134 during his 5-2 defeat at the hands of Higgins' fellow Scot Graeme Dott.

Awaiting Dott in the quarter-finals on Friday is Shaun Murphy, the man he succeeded as world champion in 2006.

Murphy finished off local hopes of a Chinese champion by ousting Ding Junhui, already a winner of four tournaments this season, in another deciding-frame thriller.

Ding needed three snookers with one red on the table and battled gamely for them, but Murphy had sufficient nous to complete the job.

If that was tense, it had nothing on the drama at the climax of Hong Kong cueman Marco Fu's 5-4 victory over world number one Neil Robertson.

Fu prevailed on a re-spotted black after Robertson missed a pink that would have given him a quarter-final berth.

Robertson took his record century haul for a season to 92 with a run of 127 in the third frame of the match to claim an early lead, but Fu responded with an identical break and added 114 in the sixth, as the 36-year-old set up a last-eight clash with surprise quarter-finalist Mark Joyce.

Fu said on worldsnooker.com: "I was lucky Neil missed the pink in the last frame and I was able to take the chance in the end."

Englishman Joyce was a 5-3 winner over London-born Norwegian Kurt Maflin.

Mark Selby will face Alan McManus in another quarter-final after both men sailed through the third round.

World number two Selby raced through in style with breaks of 135 and 131 from the Leicester man in a 5-1 victory over Liang Wenbo, and Glaswegian veteran McManus, 43, felled Welshman Dominic Dale by the same margin.

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