Scotland's Higgins admitted to being nervous on his return
John Higgins won three matches on his return from a six-month ban to reach the last 16 of a European Tour Championship event in Hamm, Germany.
Scotland's three-time world champion beat Joe Jogia 4-2 in his first match on Friday before defeating Dave Harold (4-0) and Martin Gould (4-3).
Higgins, 35, was fined £75,000 and suspended in May for not reporting an illegal approach over match-fixing.
"I was rusty but I enjoyed it. I felt very nervous," he told World Snooker.
Speaking after beating Jogia, Higgins added: "Obviously it was the first match back, so hopefully I can play better. I found the nerves quite difficult but once you're out there you try to concentrate on what's at hand.
The more matches I play, hopefully, I'll get back up to speed again
"It was a big match for me. When you get down to the nitty-gritty and you're faced with the pressure balls, then the nerves get to you a little bit. But apart from that I felt quite good."
Higgins revealed he was still apprehensive about his return to action after such a long break.
The tournament is his first since losing to Steve Davis in the second round of the World Championship at the Crucible in April.
"It's probably the longest I've taken off so it's going to be hard to back into the swing of things, but the more matches I play, hopefully, I'll get back up to speed again," the Scot added.
Higgins will face Tom Ford in the next round of the three-day event and would then face either Anthony Hamilton or Ricky Walden ahead of a potential semi-final against former world champion Graeme Dott.
Reigning world champion Neil Robertson and former champions Dott, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan, are all involved in the event, in which all matches are the best of seven frames.
Higgins' return to domestic action is expected to be at the UK Championship, which begins on 4 December.