JOHN HIGGINS produced a vintage comeback to deny Judd Trump a place in the quarter-finals of the Haikou World Open on Thursday.

Trump, having labelled his 5-4 win over Matthew Stevens in the last 32 as the worst of his career, could rarely have played better and lost. He led Higgins 4-0 in just 43 minutes but the Scot roared back to beat him 5-4.

Breaks of 100, 63, 110 and 68 gave Trump his four frame interval cushion as he produced a display worlds away from his struggle against Stevens. But Higgins was superb on the resumption, potting 13 reds with 13 blacks in the fifth frame before failing to double the penultimate red, staling the break on 104.

Higgins, a semi-finalist in Haikou last season, then swiftly compiled runs of 89, 90 and 124 to force a decider and from 0-38 made 63 to lead by 25 with 25 remaining. The four times world champion later sank the green for victory. The average frame time for the contest was just 12 minutes. 

Shaun Murphy survived a tough battle with Ding Junhui before advancing in a 50 minute decider.

Ding won the second frame on the black and played on for four snookers in the third, successfully laying three before Murphy sank the last red.

Murphy led 3-1 at the interval before breaks of 92 and 86 helped Ding draw level. He also forced the decider but Murphy eventually got over the line after a protracted spell in which Ding played for snookers.

Mark Allen, the World Open champion for the last two seasons, beat Rickt Walden 5-2 to advance to the quarter-finals again.

Thepchaiya Un Nooh of Thailand suffered double disappointment, missing a difficult pink on 134 to be denied a 147 in the third frame against Graeme Dott and going on to lose the match 5-2.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.