Sunday 24 June 2018

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Higgins hits back to defeat Xintong in decider to reach Indian Open second round

John Higgins, the world number three, battled into the second round of the Indian Open
John Higgins, the world number three, battled into the second round of the Indian Open

World number three John Higgins came from two frames down to defeat Zhao Xintong of China 4-3 as he battled through to the second round of the Indian Open in Vizag.

The Scot, runner-up to Mark Selby in the 2017 World Championship final, found himself trailing 2-0 against the 20-year-old, who last month reached the fourth round at the Paul Hunter Classic.

However, unanswered breaks of 77 and then 88 levelled things up, before Higgins edged a tense fifth frame only for Zhao to force a decider which the Wizard of Wishaw secured with a composed clearance of 87.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, defending champion Anthony McGill saw off England's Ashley Hugill 4-1, but veteran Scot Alan McManus went down 4-3 against 23-year-old Gateshead potter Elliot Slessor.

Shaun Murphy, the world number five, produced a 4-0 demolition of Hammad Miah, while Stuart Bingham recorded a 4-1 win over Welshman Duane Jones and Gary Wilson put out world number 15 Luca Brecel after his 4-1 victory which included a break of 103.

Dominic Dale progressed to round two following a 4-1 win over Rod Lawler and Thailand's Akani Songsermsawad recorded a 4-3 victory over Stephen Maguire, the Scot ranked number 20.

In the early session, Northern Ireland's Mark Allen coasted past Niu Zhuang 4-0.

Press Association

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