John Higgins produced a mesmerising performance to thrash Kyren Wilson 13-2 in the World Snooker Championship on Sunday.
In doing so, the four-time world champion completed the job with a session to spare and reached the last-eight stage for the 17th time in his career.
A match that most predicted would be close and where many had Wilson as the favourite, Higgins dominated from start to finish.
While Wilson produced the power scoring during his first-round victory over Ryan Day – compiling a 147 break and four more tallies over one hundred – it was his illustrious opponent in round two who discovered the scoring touch.
Higgins constructed three breaks above 130 as he established a remarkable 8-0 lead after the first session of play on Sunday morning.
When they returned for the evening session, the Wizard of Wishaw added contributions of 128 and 80 as he ran out a comprehensive winner.
Although Wilson admitted to having problems with his cue, there were no complaints as the better player emerged with a quarter-final spot at the Crucible Theatre.
Higgins has experienced one of the worst seasons of his entire career, but the 47 year-old has rediscovered top form in Sheffield at just the right time.
“Amazing, to beat Kyren 13-12 I would have bit the hand off you,” John Higgins told Rob Walker for the World Snooker Tour.
“But to beat him 13-2, it was an incredible result for me. I’ve been feeling happy with how my game has been for about the last month.”
“I’m beginning to time the ball well. You know when you’re coming down the nerves are going to kick in.
“The first-round match, I played pretty well against David. But David maybe didn’t turn up, and then obviously against Kyren, I think he was having trouble with his cue.
“He told me that the weight came a bit loose, and that was maybe in the back of his mind. I hope he gets that fixed.
“But no, I can’t complain, I hit the ball well. It’s good, because I think as you get older your mental stamina can take a bit of a hit.
“It’s good to get the day off tomorrow, and then just try and get myself ready for an incredibly tough game.
“I’ve been coming here for so long, and I always seem to play pretty well here. I’m delighted – I’m really happy with the way I’m hitting it.
“I’m just going to have to go out and do the same again. It’s going to be very difficult, but I can’t do any more.
“I don’t know if it would mean more than all the others (world titles). Every one of them was special in my own thinking.
“But it would probably be the hardest one I would imagine, if you’re having to come through a Selby possibly and then a Mark Allen, who knows.
“And then possibly an O’Sullivan or an Anthony McGill in the final. That would be incredible – two Scottish boys in the final. But listen, it’s a long way to go.”
John Higgins will play either Mark Selby or Gary Wilson next, with Selby leading his fellow Englishman 10-6 after their first two sessions.
The other two unfinished last-16 ties are also one-sided, with qualifiers Anthony McGill and Si Jiahui enjoying 11-5 overnight cushions over Jack Lisowski and Robert Milkins respectively.
For the full World Snooker Championship draw, results, live scores, and session times, click here.
Featured photo credit: WST