UK Championship (2011) Day 4 - Higgins fails to defend title

01:18:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Maguire knocks down defending champion
The forth day of this year's UK Championship ended with the defending champion being unable to retain his title, John Higgins losing 6-4 to Stephen Maguire, while last year world champion, Neil Robertson saw off the Scotsman Graeme Dott 6-3.

Unfortunately for John Higgins he proved to be unable to retain the crown he won last year after beating Mark Williams in a thrilling final 10-9.

This year, he was to meet a fellow-country, the Scotsman Stephen Maguire, a player that he beat during this year's Welsh Open final. And it seems like Maguire was out to find revenge as he played the game in a very cool and calm way (you didn’t see that too often on Maguire)

John on the other side, started the battle of cues missing crucial balls, the interval finding Maguire in charge of the situation and leading 3-1 (he hit a beautiful 144 in the process that at the moment is tournament's highest break).

John was unable to defend his UK Championship crown
As the players retuned from their mini-break, Stephen used runs of 57 and 66 to extend his lead at 5-1 almost smelling the victory. However, that was going to wait a bit.

The current world champion found the strength to rise up his game and fired in breaks of 54 and 95 to pull back two incredible frames. He was trailing 5-4 and he was heading towards a decider.

Sadly for Higgins it didn't happen. Pressure started to kick in and so, during the 10th frame, he missed a black off its pot, Maguire taking the chance and turning it into a great 70 break that was sending him in the quarter-finals where Judd Trump is eager to face him.

Robertson goes straight to the QFs
At table number two Neil Robertson was facing Graeme Dott in a very scrappy affair. And I mean really scrappy. Both players struggled to find fluency and build themselves nice and steady breaks, only during the final part of the match managing to do so.

While Robbo was the one who broke the ice, Dott took his chances with a re-spotted black to draw level 1-1. Still, the interval was showing the Australian player leading 3-1. Dotty had to start potting some more balls.

After the break the Scotsman pulled back a frame, but Robertson was sure to win the next two and restored the two frames difference, now leading 5-2.

Graeme Dott's UK Championship dream is over
One more time Dott had the chance to clear the table for a re-spotted black that he took, prolonging the suspense for one more frame.
In the end, although he did hit a nice 60 break, Robbo cleared the table with a 68 for a well-deserved 6-3 victory.

The Australian is due to meet a very powerful opponent, the Chinese Ding Junhui, in the next round.

Below you can check Day 4 list of results:

Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-6 Judd Trump
Ding Junhui 6-5 Matthew Stevens
John Higgins 4-6 Stephen Maguire
Graeme Dott 3-6 Neil Robertson
*the article for the first two matches can be read here.

Tomorrow the action continues with the last half of the Last 16:

Mark Williams v. Ricky Walden
Martin Gould v. Shaun Murphy

Mark Selby v. Marco Fu
Ali Carter v. Mark Allen
*all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport 2
13:00 - 15:45 BBC Two
15:30 - 17:30 British EuroSport
19:00 - 22:00 British EuroSport 2
19:45 - 22:00 British EuroSport
23:30 - 00:20 BBC Two (the highlights)

Also, you can watch the lads online at and at