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Page last updated at 22:22 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 23:22 UK

Higgins sees off Hendry challenge

Royal London Watches Grand Prix
Venue: SECC, Glasgow Date: 11-19 October
Coverage: BBC Two, BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button

Higgins overcomes Hendry

John Higgins reached the quarter-finals of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow with a 5-2 victory over fellow Scot Stephen Hendry.

Higgins, 33, won the opening frame but with both players struggling to find their best form Hendry took the second.

World number five Higgins soon raced into a 4-1 lead, before Hendry pulled one back, but he was just delaying the inevitable as Higgins sealed the win.

Steve Davis is also through after an epic 5-4 victory over Adrian Gunnell.

The 51-year-old looked to be cruising to victory as he took the opening three frames, but Gunnell battled back to draw level.

Davis won the seventh to edge ahead, but Gunnell dug in to take it to a decider after an eighth frame that lasted for just over an hour.

The six-time world champion eventually wrapped up the win after four hours and 28 minutes in a tense final frame.

Ding Junhui is also into the last eight as he beat Michael Holt 5-2, sealing the victory with a break of 129 in the final frame, while the day's other game saw Judd Trump beat Joe Perry 5-2.

Both Higgins and Hendry were uncharacteristically erratic with their potting in the opening exchanges of their encounter.

Two-time world champion Higgins appeared to settle quicker than his fellow Scot and after winning a frame each, it was the third that proved decisive.

Both players missed relatively simple chances to build a frame winning break, but it was Higgins who eventually took advantage and he never looked back.

Three more frames followed for Higgins and he looked poised for a frame and match winning chance at the start of the sixth, but a bad contact on the red put the Scot out of position and Hendry capitalised.

With his back to wall the seven-time world champion responded to reduce the arrears with a century break.

However, any chance of a Hendry comeback were soon dashed as his fellow countryman wrapped up the seventh and deciding frame to move into the last eight.

Higgins admitted he was just happy to get through after a match in neither player found anything like a fluent rhythm.

"The two of us were nervous," he said. "He was struggling as well, he was coming up short a lot of times on the cue ball, which is a symptom of someone lacking confidence.

"It was scrappy, but it was whoever got their nose in front who was going to win. Whoever stamped their authority early on was going to be the favourite and, thankfully, it was me."


see also
Stoke potter Cope shocks Maguire
13 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Hendry & Davis shine in Glasgow
12 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final
05 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix latest scores
14 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix draw
14 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
16 Sep 08 |  Snooker

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