UK Championship: John Higgins advances after convincing victory over Matthew Stevens
Last Updated: 02/12/14 9:39am
John Higgins continued his recent resurgence with a 6-2 win over Matthew Stevens in the third round of the UK Championship.
The Scot, who last won the tournament in 2010, showed glimpses of his best form as he battled back from a 3-1 deficit against Stevens, another former champion, in York.
Breaks of 59, 81 and 62 sent Higgins into a 4-3 lead and he completed a convincing win with a 128 and a 52.
The 39-year-old adopted a new shorter cueing motion after a conversation with some of his fellow players and is reaping the benefits.
"We were out together, us Scottish boys, and there's no quarter given,” said Higgins. “Marcus Campbell told me 'I think I know what's wrong with you, Graeme (Dott) told me'.
"I've been trying it and it seems to be going okay. The last 18 months I've felt a little bit out of control with my game, I thought it's just old age, but I've felt a lot better the last two matches."
Higgins next faces Anthony McGill, who progressed after a 6-5 comeback victory over Nigel Bond.
Bond, who came from 5-0 down to beat Barry Hawkins 6-5 on Saturday, opened up a 2-1 lead with runs of 54 and 90.
He soon extended his advantage to 4-1, but McGill dug deep to level at 4-4 before completing victory.
David Morris followed up his 6-4 upset win over Mark Selby by beating David Gilbert 6-2 with breaks of 60 and 65, setting up a meeting with Stephen Maguire or Mark Williams.
Ricky Walden rattled in two century breaks as he claimed a 6-1 win over three-times finalist Ken Doherty.
The 32-year-old from Chester surged into a 3-0 lead before his Irish opponent reduced the deficit in the fourth frame, which he dominated 65-1.
But the world number eight pulled clear again, adding impressive breaks of 129 and 128 in the final two frames to set up a fourth round clash with Joel Walker or Stuart Bingham.
Shaun Murphy was made to work for a 6-4 win over Jack Lisowski, edging out his opponent with a 67-13 score.
But Judd Trump impressed with three centuries as he completed a convincing 6-3 victory over Fraser Patrick.
The Bristolian surged into a 4-0 interval lead and though his opponent came back into the game, he was always in command.
Also on Monday evening, Marco Fu saw off Dechawat Poomjaeng 6-3 to set up a last-16 meeting with Murphy - a rematch of the 2008 final - while Matthew Selt overcame Rory McLeod 6-4 in a late finish.