• World Snooker Championship

Higgins out of World Championship

ESPN staff
April 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
John Higgins struggled to find form against Mark Davis © Getty Images
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Four-time world champion John Higgins suffered a shock first round exit from the World Snooker Championship, losing out to an inspired Mark Davis 10-6 at the Crucible.

Davis held a 6-3 lead over Sunday night, before clinically ending Higgins' hopes of a fifth world title in Monday's afternoon session.

Defeat adds to a recent poor run of form for The Wizard of Wishaw, who also suffered a first round defeat at the China Open in March.

Higgins started the brighter of the two, knocking in a composed 92 break to reduce the deficit in the first frame of the session.

However Davis, who defeated Liang Wenbo in a qualifier to reach the first round, battled to regain a three-frame lead despite Higgins making 57. A break of 69 followed for the former champion to claw the gap back to two frames, before Davis claimed the next two including a break of 81 to move within sight of victory.

Higgins responded to the pressure to win his sixth frame, but the writing was on the wall following an unfortunate foul in what would be the last; Higgins potted the green, sending the cue ball cannoning into the pack of reds but his efforts were in vain as a loose red dropped into the bottom-right pocket.

Davis held his nerve, building an impressive break of 81 to clinch victory and advance to the second round.

Graeme Dott and Peter Ebdon finally completed their first round match, with Dott emerging a 10-6 winner.

Dott carried a 6-2 lead overnight after the pair only managed eight frames out of a possible nine, but it was Ebdon who fought back early to take the momentum. The 2006 champion Dott wasted a chance to further extend his lead in the first frame of the session, missing the black for a respot and allowing Ebdon to reduce the deficit to three frames.

The 2002 world champion then won the next three frames, which included an incredible fluke on the yellow to draw the match level at 6-6.

Dott regained his composure to win the 13th frame by a single point, before making a 50 break to move into a two-frame lead. Resuming on Monday evening, Dott crossed the finish line to move into the second round.

Last year's finalist Ali Carter holds a 5-4 advantage over Ben Woollaston, but Mark Allen suffered an early exit after losing out 10-8 to Mark King. Welsh Open champion Stephen Maguire trails Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-3 after their first session.

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