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Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 22:22 UK

Higgins edges out Cope in classic

World Snooker Championship
Date: 18 April-4 May Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Coverage: Live coverage each day on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only), updates on BBC Radio 5 Live.

John Higgins

Video - Higgins holds nerve against Cope

John Higgins recovered from 12-10 down to beat Jamie Cope in the final frame and earn a meeting with Mark Selby in the World Championship quarter-finals.

Higgins also needed to deal with a time-out in the final frame when a spectator required medical treatment.

"At 11-9 down it wasn't looking too good," the Scot told BBC Sport. "But I got a few texts from my wife and she spurred me on so that was great."

Selby, who beat 2006 champion Graeme Dott 13-10, had an easier match.

Higgins and Cope resumed on Monday level at 8-8 in their second-round tussle after a lively start to the match.

Higgins 'shattered' after epic win

The 23-year-old qualifier from Stoke started the strongest, taking an 11-9 lead at the mid-session interval with a break of 82 in the 20th frame.

The 1998 and 2007 champion hit back to win the next frame, but a run of 103 from Cope left him one frame away from a shock victory.

"I thought I'd got him at 12-10. But I just didn't take the chance," the world number 19, who upset Joe Perry in the first round, said later.

A break of 96 from Higgins reduced the deficit to 12-11, before he prevailed in a nervous 24th frame after a brief delay while the first of two spectators received treatment for dehydration.


The drama was cranked up another notch when play was stopped for a second time early on in the decider, when neither player had scored a point, because of a fan fainting in the audience.

"It is very rare for that to happen once, but when it happens twice like that it is very hard to go out of the arena and keep positive," said Higgins, who knocked in a difficult red immediately on the players' return, en route to a match-clinching 80.

"I was telling myself I was going to pot it, and was envisaging it before we went back. I looked dead and buried but I managed to pull through, so I am over the moon."

Higgins returned to the table to build an intelligent break of 80 and reach his 10th quarter-final in 15 years at The Crucible.

"It's as if these things are sent to test you as a player," added Higgins.

Mark Selby

Video - Selby ends Dott resistance

"Jamie is going to be feeling absolutely devastated but it will hold him in good stead. He'll come back again and there's no doubt in my mind that he'll win it [the title] one day, no problem."

Selby always had Dott at arm's length in their contest, but it was not plain sailing by any means.

Resuming in the morning 6-2 up, the duo shared the first eight frames of the day - leaving Selby with a 10-6 advantage going.

Dott continued the fight, winning three of the first four frames of the final session but when Selby rattled a tough blue into the middle pocket he stood one frame away from the next round on 12-9.

And though a break of 88 gave Dott the next frame, Selby pounced to claim the win when Dott missed a medium-length red into a baulk pocket.

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