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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Higgins seals opening group win
John Higgins
Higgins praised Pengfei's confidence
World champion John Higgins came from behind to win his opening group match in the Royal London Watches Grand Prix.

Higgins beat Tian Pengfei 4-2 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre after the Chinese youngster won the opening frame by knocking in a 64.

But the world number one then took control of the match, making breaks of 57, 71, 50 and 107.

"It's pleasing to get that first win," said Higgins. "You always want to play well in front of a home crowd."

But Higgins' fellow Scot Graeme Dott is facing an early exit, after losing both his opening matches.

The 2006 world champion lost his opening match to Ali Carter and then came off second best against compatriot Marcus Campbell too.

Dott needs to win his last three group matches to have a chance of reaching the last 16.

Ken Doherty suffered a 4-3 opening loss to fellow Dubliner Michael Judge, having at one stage led 3-2.

Ricky Walden beat former world championship semi-finalist Ian McCulloch 4-1 in their opening match; Nigel Bond was undone by Welshman Ryan Day, and Mark King impressed with a 4-1 win over Bristol's Andrew Norman.

And last year's runner-up Jamie Cope faces a struggle to reach the last 16 stage after losing 4-2 to Barry Hawkins and 4-1 to Stephen Maguire.

Earlier Maguire had seen off seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry 4-2 without making a break of over 50.

"I'm not a fan of group matches but I'm feeling in good form," said Maguire.

Two-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was already assured of his place in the knock-out stages but signed off in style, beating Steve Davis 4-1 to make it five wins out of five.

Marcu Fu and 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy are also already assured of their place in the last 16.

Both players won four out of five group games, Murphy finishing with a 4-3 win over Ding Junhui, and Fu beating Stuart Bingham by the same score, but Murphy finished top of the group on frame difference.

Gerard Greene clinched his place in the last 16 with a 4-0 win over Shanghai Master champion Dominic Dale.

Peter Ebdon and Joe Swail are the other two players already through.



SEE ALSO
Grand Prix latest scores
13 Oct 07 |  Snooker


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