John Higgins beat his great rival Stephen Hendry for the first time since March 2002 at the British Open in Brighton last night - despite producing an error-strewn performance.

Higgins, without a world ranking event title for three years, was more than happy to grab the 5-2 victory over an equally out-of-sorts Hendry to secure his place in the semi-finals.

But even though Higgins is now only two wins away from breaking his trophy famine, there are still two major snags.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is lurking in the other half of the draw, and Higgins may well have to withdraw from either the semi-final or final because his wife Denise is expecting their second child any time.

By leaving early, Higgins would throw the tournament into obvious chaos. But the Scot is willing to turn his back on a possible £30,000 pay-day and risk a potential fine from the game's governing body by rushing to his wife's side for the birth.

"There'll be plenty more tournaments but not plenty more babies," he said.

"I'll have to ring her to make sure she's all right and I just hope she hangs on to Monday," he added.

29-year-old Higgins today faces Shaun Murphy - a 5-3 victory over Barry Hawkins.