By Mark Orlovac
BBC Sport at the Crucible
Higgins had been 10-0 down
Ken Doherty booked his place in the last four after beating John Higgins 13-8 in an incredible quarter-final.
Higgins, who had pulled the score back to 10-6 after being 10-0 down, then won the first frame of the final session to increase the pressure on Doherty.
But the 1997 champion dug in and he won the 18th frame on the black after a superb 63 clearance before making the score 12-7 in the next.
Higgins pulled one frame back with an 82 break but Doherty claimed the 13-8 win in the first frame after the interval.
Doherty expressed his relief after surviving the brave fightback from Higgins.
"When I was 10-0 ahead I had to pinch myself. Some of the frames were the best I have played here," he said.
"But the match turned completely when John started coming back. The pressure was really on and things started going against me.
"I dug a great clearance out to go 11-7. It could have been 10-8. It gave me the confidence to go on. I'm relieved to be through."
But Higgins did not take any consolation from his fightback.
"I just stuck in there. I am just disappointed to be out at the quarter-final stage for the second year running," he said.
"Ken's break at 10-7 was big. If I had made the score 10-8 then you never know but losing it took the wind out of my sails and I never recovered.
"I was 10-0 down I was just trying to win a frame. I was not even looking at the scoreboard."
Quarter-final result: J Higgins (Sco) 8-13 K Doherty (Ire)
9-62, 16-85 (57), 0-107 (107), 65-66 (Higgins 65, Doherty 66), 1-66 (50), 44-83 (67), 58-71, 7-100 (85), 9-64, 9-112 (112), 117-0 (113), 70-24 (60), 74-12, 64-52, 67-57, 62-57 (Doherty 57), 69-31 (55), 56-68 (Higgins 56, Doherty 63), 7-75, 94-8 (82), 1-71 (55)