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Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins through to quarters

Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Dates: Sat 5 Dec to Sun 13 Dec Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

John Higgins

Video - Higgins wins tight decider

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan and world champion John Higgins both advanced to the last eight of the UK Championship in Telford.

Higgins survived a fine fightback from Australian Neil Robertson to win 9-8, while O'Sullivan beat Peter Ebdon 9-3.

Elsewhere, defending champion Shaun Murphy was soundly beaten 9-3 by China's Ding Junhui, who joins countryman Liang Wenbo in the quarters.

Wenbo defeated Mark King 9-2, while Stephen Maguire beat Stuart Bingham.

Mark Selby defeated Stephen Hendry 9-5 to also book his place in the last eight while Ali Carter progressed with a comfortable 9-5 victory over Stephen Lee.


Carter will now play Ding in the last eight of the competition. Ding was dominant throughout taking a 6-2 lead into the evening session before closing the game out with a break of 113.

Mark Williams surrendered the final two frames of his match with Peter Lines, losing 9-8 having held the advantage at 8-7.

Lines - who equalled his best-ever ranking performances by reaching the quarter-finals, will now play Maguire.

Maguire wasted little time in booking his place in the next round of the competition with the Scotsman cruising past Bingham.

"I've had a few good UK tournaments. I've won it, been to the final and got to the semi-finals last year, so I've been quite consistent here," said the 28-year-old.

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan won the tournament in 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2007

"But I'm feeling good about my game and if I win my next match I've got a day off to look forward too."

Higgins will face Wenbo in the next round having held off the challenge of the Grand Prix champion.

The win was a relief for Higgins, who had led 4-1 before Robertson fought back to leave the match finely balanced at the end of the first session at 5-3 to the Scot.

Robertson opened the final session with breaks of 127 and 78 to level things up, but Higgins again pulled away to lead 8-6.

The tension seemed to get the better of Higgins as a couple of careless errors allowed Robertson to come back yet again, but he held his nerve at the vital moment to seal his progress with a gritty break.

It was revenge for Higgins, who lost out to Robertson 6-5 in a classic semi-final of October's Grand Prix which went to down to the final black.

Four-time champion O'Sullivan held a four frame advantage over Ebdon leading 6-2 after the first session of their UK Championship second round encounter.

O'Sullivan raced into a 4-0 lead, before Ebdon dug in to make it 5-2. But a 118 break left O'Sullivan needing three more frames for victory.

A break of 76 saw O'Sullivan stretch his lead to 7-2, before Ebdon came out on top in a safety exchange to pull one back.

O'Sullivan then strolled through the next frame before finally ending Ebdon's challenge. He will now face Selby in the next round.

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see also
UK Championship 2009 - full results
05 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Selby delight at Hendry 'scalp'
09 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Lines hails 'best ever' victory
09 Dec 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan delight at Hearn role
08 Dec 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan cruises past Stevens
07 Dec 09 |  Snooker
'Tortured' Hendry defeats Davis
06 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Murphy dreaming of more UK glory
04 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Hearn confirmed as snooker chief
17 Dec 09 |  Snooker
UK Championship gets Pukka deal
12 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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