Higgins thrashes Lisowski 13-1 to reach Crucible quarter-finals

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Four-time champion John Higgins sent a signal of intent to the rest of competition as he stormed through to the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship at the Crucible.

The Scot was in dominant form as he saw off Jack Lisowski 13-1 in the second round to set up a last-eight clash with either Ricky Walden or Judd Trump with a session to spare.

Higgins, who lost 18-15 to world number one Mark Selby in last year’s final, raced into an 8-0 lead after the first session on Saturday evening, racking up four half-centuries and a 101 break.

The 42-year-old maintained his terrific form on Sunday with a 55 break in the opening frame to improve his advantage to 9-0 before Lisowski eventually got on the board in the 11th frame, courtesy of a 81 break.

However, Higgins stamped his authority on the next with a century before rattling in a tournament-high 146 clearance in the 13th frame en route to victory.

Higgins told worldsnooker.com: “I don’t think I’ve ever won 13-1. It is probably one of my best results.

“Jack dismantled me 6-2 at the China Open so I was really up for the game. Next season will be big for him, he’ll be competing and winning in big events.

“I know you try and stay professional and be ruthless, but I feel for him a little as well. A couple of years ago I played Stephen Hendry and lost heavily, it’s the worst feeling in the world.

“It’s a very tough venue when you’re struggling, the harder you try the worst it gets.”

Ding Junhui was in similarly impressive form as he moved one frame away from the quarter-finals after building a 12-4 lead over Anthony McGill.

The Chinese cueman stormed into a 8-0 advantage in a one-sided morning session which saw the 31-year-old record five half-centuries and two breaks over 100.

Ding won the first frame of the evening session before the Scot secured the 10th to finally register on the scoreboard before reeling off the next two, which included a 97 break, to cut the deficit to 9-3 at the interval.

A 66 run moved Ding further ahead before the pair shared the following two frames to ensure a third session was required, with the Chinese player rattling off a 113 break to get within touching distance of a last-eight berth.

Walden and Trump could not be separated after 16 frames on Sunday as they split both sessions of their second-round clash.

Trump opened up with a 101 break but Walden responded to lead 3-1, which included a run of 90 in the third, only for the world number four to hit back with three of the next four frames after the morning session.

Walden took the opening two frames to move 6-4 up in the evening session, but Trump roared back with back-to-back century breaks before trading the last four to be locked at 8-8.

Two-time winner Mark Williams extended his advantage to 10-6 against Robert Milkins with the Welshman needing just three frames to claim a place in the quarter-finals for the sixth time in his career.

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