World Open 2012: Allen Tops Trump, Higgins Gathering Momentum

Today saw the quarter-final line-up decided at the Haikou World Open as reigning world champion John Higgins showed signs of a return to top form with a 5-0 win against Jamie Cope, while the likes of Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby and Mark Allen were also able to progress…

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John Higgins took just 1 hour and 13 minutes to move into the quarter-finals of the Star Xing Pai Haikou World Open, hammering Stoke’s Jamie Cope 5-0 in Hainan.

Higgins finished the match off with a break of 133, the third highest of the event so far, and also had runs of 50, 73 and 83 en route to victory.

Higgins, who has slumped to No.6 in the World Rankings, is looking to find some form in the two ranking events in China before the season’s climax at the World Championship.

“That’s probably the best I’ve played this season,” said Higgins. “The first frame was very important. Jamie could have won it and then it would have been a different match. But I won it and that got my confidence up and played well after that.

“There are lots of very good players left; Mark Allen beat Judd Trump today, Mark Selby, the World No.1, Shaun Murphy, so many great players so I’ll have to play my best to have any chance.”

Stephen Lee and Neil Robertson put on a scoring exhibition in their round two match – there were five centuries in the seven frames – and it was Lee who prevailed 5-2.

The Australian opened up with a 106 before Lee levelled, and then put together 138 and 109 to take a 3-1 lead at the interval. Lee took the next then his opponent compiled a run of 136 before the West Countryman closed out the match with yet another century – a 120.

“Playing each week has made the difference because if you do play bad you can put it right the following week. I’m playing a lot more, competing better and there’s a high standard of snooker week in and week out,” said Lee.

“On that performance I think I can win it. I felt good, scored well, played good safety, and my long pots are good. Anything can happen and I’m playing as well as most,” he added.

Mark Allen took revenge for his UK Championship final defeat as he dumped Judd Trump out with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory.

Trump had made the early running, winning the first frame on the black, and then making a run of 104 in taking a 3-0 lead. Allen though, made a ton himself to pull one back.

Breaks of 31 and 43 gave Allen the next before a run of 66 levelled the match for the Northern Irishman. A timely century gave Allen the lead before Trump dug in the take the match to a decider.

The Bristolian then missed a tricky red in the final frame and left an open table, and Allen completed his third century of the match to make his way into the quarter-finals.

Following his controversial comments on Twitter yesterday, Allen was at pains to clarify the situation and offer an apology.

“I would like to apologise for my comments yesterday when I said how much I don’t like coming to China,” said Allen.

“I don’t like travelling away from home whether it be anywhere outside the UK. I just don’t like being away from home, not just in China, so I’d like to apologise.”

Of the match he said: “I thought I was a little unlucky to be 3- 0 behind but from 3-0 I played pretty well and I think I deserved the win in the end.

“When you play Judd there’s normally not a lot of safety to be played and it’s very open and lots of big breaks. I think he’s probably the best player in the world right now so I’m happy to have got through and it’s a good win for me.

“You have to believe in yourself and I’ve beaten the best players in world so there’s no reason I couldn’t win today but you have to play well and luckily enough I did.

“I don’t think Judd played as well as he did in final of UK Championship and today he missed a few shots and I was able to capitalise.”