Higgins advances to Indian Open Round 2
John Higgins, the four times World champion, led a trio of Scots into the second round of the Indian Open World Snooker ranking tournament, here Tuesday.
While Higgins gave glimpses of his pedigree in vanquishing England teenager Joel Walker 4-0, compatriot and World No.5 Stephen Maguire posted a fluent 4-1 win over Paul Davison, and fellow-Scot Anthony McGill knocked out World No.7 Barry Hawkins 4-1.
Walker, ranked 89th, but spoken of highly by the current World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, was rather disappointing. Playing on a "TV table" for the first time in his fledgling career, the 19-year old committed far too many mistakes while presenting openings to the 38-year old Higgins.
World No.10 Higgins, after taking time to settle down on a table that he said was "the best I have played all year", got into a flow and made the best of the chances that young Walker presented to finish the match on the back of 76 and 61 in the third and fourth frames.
"It is the best table that I have played on all year. I was lucky today. It was Joel's first match on the TV and he was gave me lot of chances.
"I have not been playing well of late because I was tinkering with the cue that I changed a few times, tried different sizes. But now, I am happy with my cueing and hopefully, win a few matches," said Higgins.
Despite the easy win, Higgins had a word of praise for Walker, saying: "Yes, he has the talent and Ronnie obviously knows Joel better, but tonight, he could not capitalize on some chances that I gave him."
Also coming through with ease was World No.5 Stephen Maguire who outplayed Paul Davison 4-1 in a battle between two England players.
Earlier, young Scottish star McGill gave further evidence of his talent by putting out Engand's Hawkins, runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan at the season-ending World Championship earlier this year.
The 22-year old McGill, ranked 47th, was in supreme form as he raced to a 2-0 lead with a 123 break in the second frame. In fact, it was not until the third frame that Hawkins scored his first points of the match and was only able to delay the inevitable by taking the fourth before the Scot shut the door with a run of 103 in the fifth to close the match.
On the next table, Gary Wilson, the 2004 World junior champion, joined the list of centurions with a break of 125 in the third frame, as he outplayed higher-ranked fellow-Englishman Dominic Dale 4-0 to also advance to the second round.