Davis Downs Rocket To Reach Maiden Ranking Final

Higgins And Selby Survive In York

jh1John Higgins and Mark Selby both came through tough challenges at the Betway UK Championship to reach the third round.

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World number four Higgins trailed 3-2 against Noppon Saengkham, 69 places below him in the rankings, but hit back to four of the last five frames with top breaks of 126, 52 and 66 to win 6-4. Higgins has won two titles within the past month, earning well over £300,000, and is looking to continue his hot streak here in York. He now faces Ben Woollaston or Paul Davison in the last 32.

“I dodged a bullet there, I’m just delighted to get through,” said two-time UK Champion Higgins. ““I really did think I’d be heading up the road when I went 4-3 down. A lot of these boys are not frightened of top players any more. I felt as if the luck had ran out but the luck’s still with me just now.”

Higgins admitted he was “too fat” to play a certain shot where he had to stretch over the table, but insisted he would not be following Neil Robertson’s example by taking up a vegan diet. “I enjoy eating meat too much,” laughed the Wizard of Wishaw.

World Champion Mark Selby also came through 6-4 after a long battle, beating Daniel Wells. Leicester’s Selby was 3-1 down, despite a run of 101 in the second frame, but won five of the last six frames with top runs of 102 and 61.

“It was a battle,” said Selby, who won the title here in 2012. “My focus dipped in and out. It is still the early stages of the tournament, I don’t want to peak too soon.”

Liam Highfield came from 4-1 down to beat Wang Yuchen 6-5 with a top break of 125 while Luca Brecel made two breaks of 102 in a 6-5 win over Sam Craigie.

Stephen Maguire top scored with 128 in a 6-2 defeat of Zhao Xintong while Mark Williams saw off Andrew Higginson by the same scoreline.

Welshman Williams continues to suffer from a neck injury “I’m in pain or discomfort every shot I play and it’s not getting any easier at all,” he said.