Higgins International Championship
Main News, Ranking

John Higgins qualifies for International Championship

Former champion John Higgins comfortably reached the venue stages of the International Championship with a 6-1 victory in the qualifiers on Friday.

The Scot, who captured the ranking event crown in 2015, easily overcame the challenge of Thai rookie Manasawin Phetmalaikul with a 6-1 scoreline.

As he has demonstrated on numerous occasions already this season, Higgins was in fine scoring form.

The Wizard of Wishaw compiled a brace of century breaks and added a further three half-century contributions to safely advance.

The 48 year-old led Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-2 in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters last week only to frustratingly lose the last four frames to Rocket, who went on to lift the invitational trophy.

But Higgins showed no signs of any hangovers as he booked a return trip to China for the International Championship in November.

Elsewhere, there were contrasting triumphs for Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson.

Murphy, the campaign-opening Championship League champion, matched Higgins’ five-frame winning margin in a straightforward defeat of Andres Petrov.

Robertson survived a much tougher outing, ultimately taking the last two frames to secure a 6-4 victory over fellow Australian Ryan Thomerson.

Meanwhile, there were a couple of deciders on day five of the International Championship qualifiers.

World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui prevailed in a topsy-turvy battle with Julien Leclercq, while John Astley pipped Jamie Clarke in a 6-5 nail-biter as well.

Among the others to progress to the last 64 of the competition in Tianjin were Ali Carter, Chris Wakelin, Joe O’Connor, Dominic Dale, and Marco Fu.

The latter’s victory was particularly impressive, with Fu ousting world no.12 Robert Milkins at Ponds Forge.

The three-time ranking event winner from Hong Kong compiled breaks of 109, 87, 68, 60, and 51 to again bolster his confidence following a recent victory over Hossein Vafaei.

On Saturday, the preliminary stage concludes with 2014 champion Ricky Walden the highest-profile name participating.

International Championship: qualifying draw and schedule

Times in BST

Monday, September 18

Stephen Maguire 6-2 Peng Yisong
Wu Yize 3-6 Ross Muir
Tian Pengfei 6-3 Stephen Hendry
Yuan Sijun 5-6 Long Zehuang

Michael White 6-3 Himanshu Jain
Ryan Day 6-1 Mink Nutcharut
Jackson Page 6-3 Liam Graham
Mark Joyce 6-3 Andy Lee

Barry Hawkins 6-0 Andrew Pagett
Matthew Selt 6-1 Jimmy White
Robbie Williams 6-3 Ben Mertens
Jordan Brown 6-5 Sean O’Sullivan

Tuesday, September 19

Xu Si 4-6 Stuart Carrington
Cao Yupeng 6-0 Ashley Hugill
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-1 Andrew Higginson
Matthew Stevens 6-4 Liu Hongyu

Joe Perry 3-6 Dylan Emery
David Grace 6-2 Jenson Kendrick
David Gilbert 6-0 James Cahill
Andy Hicks 2-6 Sanderson Lam

Tom Ford 6-4 Stan Moody
Anthony McGill 6-3 Alfie Burden

Wednesday, September 20

Xiao Guodong 6-4 Ishpreet Singh
Sam Craigie 6-1 Thor Chuan Leong
Stuart Bingham 6-0 Xing Zihao
Zhang Anda 6-3 Alexander Ursenbacher

Jimmy Robertson 6-2 Anton Kazakov
Noppon Saengkham 6-3 Victor Sarkis
Graeme Dott 4-6 Liam Pullen

Hossein Vafaei 6-1 Reanne Evans
Gary Wilson 6-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Mark Davis 6-4 Rod Lawler

Thursday, September 21

Mark Allen 6-2 Ma Hailong
Jack Lisowski 6-3 He Guoqiang
Lyu Haotian 6-5 David Lilley
Fan Zhengyi 6-2 Mostafa Dorgham

Elliot Slessor 6-2 Hammad Miah
Kyren Wilson 6-3 Adam Duffy
Mark Selby 6-2 Muhammad Asif

Jamie Jones 6-4 Ashley Carty
Mark Williams 6-0 Rebecca Kenna

Friday, September 22

Robert Milkins 4-6 Marco Fu
Si Jiahui 6-5 Julien Leclercq
Jamie Clarke 5-6 John Astley
Dominic Dale 6-3 Oliver Brown

Joe O’Connor 6-1 Baipat Siripaporn
Ali Carter 6-2 Allan Taylor
Shaun Murphy 6-1 Andres Petrov

John Higgins 6-1 Manasawin Phetmalaikul
Neil Robertson 6-4 Ryan Thomerson
Chris Wakelin 6-0 Dean Young

Saturday, September 23

Ricky Walden 6-1 Jiang Jun
Scott Donaldson 6-4 Louis Heathcote
Pang Junxu 6-3 Zak Surety

Oliver Lines 6-4 Lukas Kleckers
Jak Jones 6-2 Aaron Hill
Liam Highfield 2-6 Daniel Wells

Heldover Fixtures

Sunday, November 5

Judd Trump vs wildcard
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ken Doherty
Luca Brecel vs Ahmed Aly Elsayed
Ding Junhui vs Ian Burns
Zhou Yuelong vs Martin O’Donnell
Anthony Hamilton vs wildcard
Ben Woollaston vs wildcard

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. John Higgins looks to be having another renaissance. The “class of ’92” are all masters of repeated career Renaissances by now! Frankly all three of them are still capable of beating any player and of winning tournaments. Incredible longevity and ability, but possibly also continuing evidence that the younger players haven’t quite come through.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.