Sunday 21 January 2018

Sport in brief: Higgins crashes out of Masters

World champion John Higgins was woeful as he suffered a Masters first-round exit to Mark Allen at Wembley Arena yesterday.

The 34-year-old Scot, who is provisional world No 1 and won the Masters in 1999 and 2006, slipped 3-1 behind at the mid-session interval in the best-of-11 contest.

Allen made numerous errors but Higgins made even more as the Northern Irishman held on for a 6-3 triumph.

The 23-year-old will now face Mark Selby, who beat China's Ding Junhui 6-1 on Sunday, in the last eight.


IRISH boxing chiefs are running a special tournament tomorrow and Saturday to help with their selection process for the AIBA World Youth Championships in Azerbaijan in April.

The Baku tournament will have a double significance as it will act as a qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August.

The Stadium box-off will give AIBA World Junior light middleweight champ Joe Ward the opportunity to try and edge a step closer to adding an AIBA World Youth title to his CV.

Ward, from the Moate club in Westmeath, claimed World Junior gold in Armenia in 2008 and is considered one of the hottest prospects on the international amateur boxing scene.

Irish coach Jim Moore has also said that the Irish squad will take part in three multi-nation tournaments in Germany and Lithuania in preparation for the AIBA World Youth Championships.


The 110-year history of the Davis Cup is under threat after leading players confirmed they have proposed a plan to replace one of sport's oldest and most prestigious competitions with a World Cup.

The idea has come from the ATP Player Council who are looking at ways to make the season less rigorous for players.

The proposed World Cup would be a biennial event over 10 days, involving the top 32 countries.

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian who is on the ATP Player Council along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, said: "We proposed it... but it's all fresh and it's all ideas.

"We didn't decide to put anything on an official term because we have to consider other sides as well.

"The main point is that we are trying to make the sport improve and get better. The players are the ones who are making the show and their opinions have to be greatly considered."

Irish Independent

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