Tuesday 16 January 2018

Carter shocks Higgins

Ali Carter, pictured, moved into the last 16 with victory over John Higgins
Ali Carter, pictured, moved into the last 16 with victory over John Higgins

Fit-again Ali Carter upset four-time world champion John Higgins with a 4-2 victory in the first round of the PTC Grand Finals in Galway.

Carter, who could not take part in last month's Haikou World Open due to complications with his Crohn's disease, sealed a place in the last 16 with the win.

He took advantage of a missed red to make a 79 clearance in the first frame before Higgins made it 1-1 with a run of 111. Carter then made it 3-1 and 4-2 to progress.

"I've been really struggling with my Crohn's disease and haven't been able to practise much so it's a big win for me," said Carter. "I just dug in and it was a good performance. The first frame was massive, it's hard to clear up from 60 behind, especially against John Higgins.

Chinese number one Ding Junhui reversed a 3-1 deficit to defeat Andrew Higginson 4-3. Higginson, a semi-finalist here last year, reeled off breaks of 57 and 71 on his way to a two-frame lead but Ding changed the momentum irreversibly with a turn of 118 in the fifth.

"I didn't play well for the first few frames, I found it difficult to control the white. After that I came back nicely," said Ding.

"I've been playing okay for the last few months so I'm happy at the moment."

His compatriot Xiao Guodong was also successful, securing a 4-1 win over former world champion Graeme Dott, who was in ragged form.

Rod Lawler denied China another winner on the night as he defeated Cao Yupeng 4-2.

After losing the opening frame, Liverpudlian Lawler took the next three to put him on the road to victory.

Press Association

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