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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 April, 2003, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Higgins coasts to quarters
By Clive Jones
BBC Sport at the Crucible

John Higgins
Higgins is widely tipped to win the title

John Higgins booked his place in the quarter-finals after completing a solid 13-7 win over qualifier Sean Storey.

The Scot began the final session with a four-frame lead and was soon 11-7 ahead after notching an 85 break in the 17th frame, before Storey pulled one back.

The 1998 champion replied with a break of 68 in the 19th frame to put himself within sight of the winning line.

And the end was not long in coming as Higgins wrapped up the match with a break of 70 in the next.

"I'm hitting the balls well but the tables are a lot different this year and the pockets are a lot tighter," said Higgins afterwards, echoing the complaints of Peter Ebdon, who had earlier criticised the speed of the baize.

Higgins added: "I am feeling confident, but Sean should take a lot of credit for his performance.

"He's been working hard on his game all season and the results prove it."

Storey said of his experience: "Playing here meant everything to me and I'm pleased to be competing with the best players in the world.

"I was always trying to get back at him after he had me on the ropes at 6-2 and I don't think I did much wrong.

"It was never going to be easy against a player of John's class but I am not disappointed with the way I played, only the result."

Second round result: Sean Storey (Eng) 7-13 John Higgins (Sco) 39-76, 0-122 (122), 1-107 (73), 59-41, 23-93 (56), 94-32 (79), 0-137 (60, 77), 1-135 (103), 2-65, 90-9, 104-0 (54,50), 21-75 (66) 30-76 (51), 0-85 (85) 65-51, 73-72 (73,72), 39-87 (85), 59-30, 1-68 (68), 23-74 (70)

John Higgins
"I managed to get on top early"

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