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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 17:38 UK

Higgins beats O'Sullivan in China

Date: 30 March-5 April 2009 Venue: Beijing University Students Gymnasium
Coverage: Results and reports on the BBC Sport website


John Higgins
Higgins admitted the standard was "really bad"

John Higgins beat world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-4 to advance to the semi-finals of the China Open in Beijing.

Two-time world champion Higgins will next play Ryan Day, who thrashed 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy 5-0.

Preston's Stuart Pettman continued his fine run at the China Open by beating Graeme Dott 5-2 to reach his first ranking tournament semi-final.

Pettman will now play Peter Ebdon, who beat Stephen Hendry 5-1 to maintain his bid for a return to the top 16.

O'Sullivan took the first frame against Higgins after he had missed a long pot, only for the Scot to recover in fine style, taking the next three to open up a commanding lead.

'The Rocket' then won a dramatic fifth frame on the black and came through an error-strewn sixth to level the match at 3-3.

It was rubbish. We were both terrible. I didn't feel like potting anything, let alone clearing up

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan

But both players continued to make mistakes in the seventh before Higgins composed himself to draw within one frame of victory.

O'Sullivan rallied again to take the match into a ninth-frame decider but missed two easy blacks, which Higgins capitalised on to complete the victory.

"It was exciting but the standard was really bad," said Higgins. "I didn't know what I was going to miss next, so I'm sure the crowd felt the same.

"I was bad and just lucky that Ronnie was a little bit worse. If I play like that on Friday, Ryan will beat me."

O'Sullivan said: "It was rubbish. We were both terrible. I didn't feel like potting anything, let alone clearing up. I didn't think I'd be able to leave John chances but I gave him many and he still missed. It was a night to forget."

Welshman Day, who reached the semi-finals last season, did not need a break of higher than 54 until the final frame to see off UK champion Shaun Murphy.

Pettman, who beat Welsh Open champion Ali Carter in round two, had never before gone beyond the last 16 in a ranking event in his 17-year career and was delighted with his win.

"When you win a couple of matches, you want to go on and win the whole thing," Pettman said. "Deep down I knew I could do this but it was just a case of bringing it out on this stage."

Ebdon was equally ecstatic with his performance: "I'm absolutely delighted. Stephen Hendry is one of the toughest, most ferocious match players the game has ever seen. Any win over Stephen is a great win."



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see also
China Open draw
25 Mar 09 |  Snooker
China Open latest/order of play
25 Mar 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan battles on in Beijing
01 Apr 09 |  Snooker
Champion Maguire upset by Harold
31 Mar 09 |  Snooker
Trump loses to wildcard in China
30 Mar 09 |  Snooker
Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final
05 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
20 Jan 09 |  Snooker


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