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Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Monday, 14 February 2011

John Higgins battles past Jack Lisowski in Welsh Open

Venue: The Newport Centre, Newport Date: 14-20 February
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales and British Eurosport; results and reports on BBC Sport website

John Higgins
Higgins also won the Welsh Open title in 2000

John Higgins was made to battle by Jack Lisowski as he began his defence of his Welsh Open title in Newport.

Scotland's world number one, returning to action after the death of his father earlier this month, came through 4-3 against the Gloucestershire teenager.

Masters champion Ding Junhui was also tested in his opener, going 2-0 down to Marcus Campbell before winning 4-3.

Six-time world championship runner-up Jimmy White was hammered 4-0 by Wales's Ryan Day in the qualifying round.

Lisowski, 19, let Higgins know he was in a game by sneaking the first frame in a flying start featuring some lovely shots.

He was less accurate in the second as Higgins brought it back to 1-1 and the slip-ups continued, allowing the Scot to produce several 50-something breaks to lead 3-1.

Higgins was making mistakes of his own, however, and after a 47 enabled Lisowski to take it to 3-2, the youngster levelled the match.

But the three-time world champion's class told in the end as Lisowski wasted his opportunity and Higgins held on to set up a last-16 clash with Dave Harold, who overcame Ricky Walden 4-3 earlier.

An emotional Higgins admitted after his win: "I was all over the place today, I couldn't concentrate. But it was good to be back playing.

"I'd not picked up a cue, but to play was what my dad would have wanted. I was thinking about him being here last year.

"My mum told me to come down and do my dad proud."

Meanwhile Lisowski told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "It was 4-3, it was a close game but I did myself justice I think and there's a lot to learn, there's a lot of positives from the game.

"But at the same time I had a chance in the last frame and just screwed it up a little bit, so that's a bit disappointing, but overall loads of positives."

In the early session, China's Ding found himself in trouble against Campbell in their best-of-seven-frames encounter but fought back to triumph 4-3.

In other matches, Ali Carter had to come from 2-1 and 3-2 down before beating Barry Hawkins 4-3, while Mark King was a 4-1 winner over Michael Holt, Matthew Stevens beat Anthony Hamilton 4-2, and Jamie Cope edged past Rory McLeod 4-3.

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see also
Higgins's father dies of cancer
04 Feb 11 |  Snooker
Williams pips Selby to German win
06 Feb 11 |  Snooker

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