Haikou World Open 2012 (Day 4) - Wizard Higgins' powers are back

00:32:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Wizard is back
Brilliant forth day here in China's Haikou where the World Open tournament is under way, with the current world champion, John Higgins crashing Jamie Cope 5-0, with "Pistol" Mark Allen taking a 5-4 revenge on the man that "stole" him the UK Championship crown Judd Trump and not to forget Big Stephen Lee's 5-2 victory over the defending champion Neil Robertson.

Known under the nickname of "Wizard of Wilshaw", John Higgins cued like a dream against a quite revived (but not enough) Jamie Cope, the Scotsman ending the lad's Chinese dream with breaks of 27, 73, 83, 50 and 133 for a clear victory of 5-0.

Jamie didn't cope with Higgins
As the man himself said after the match, this was the best he's played all season and I'm sure this has given him a lot of confidence for the next match.

Two of the green baize's greatest gladiators, Judd Trump and Mark Allen met again after last December the Bristolian defeated Allen 10-8 to win the UK Championship trophy. However, this time, things went a bit different.

Although the youngster from Bristol flew 3-0 up by winning the first frame on the black and taking the next ones with a top break of 104, the Northern Ireland man fought back just as the mid-session interval was starting to pull back a frame with a 101.

Minutes later, Allen continued his comeback and cashed two more frames with runs of 31, 43 and 55, but also used a perfect ton (100) to put his nose in front for the very first time since the beginning of the match, 4-3.

Mark Allen is on fire
Needless to say that Trump wasn’t very happy with the situation, thus using a 51 break to force the decider, a decider that didn’t go his way by all means as "The Pistol" Allen used his cue to shoot 100 points and earn the right to play in the quarter-finals.

Though many fail to remember that Neil Robertson is the defending champion of this competition (probably because this is the first year when the World Open is taking place outside the UK's borders and it seems like a new event), the Australian came to China to try his best and keep his crown. 
Unfortunately for him, it wasn't going o happen. Not with Stephen Lee in the picture.

The interval was finding the players at 3-1, the scoreline being in favour of  "The Bulldog" Lee who fired in breaks of 42, 138 and 109, while Robertson only got a 106 to go his way, after the mini-break things not changing dramatically.

Big Bear Lee in action
Lee cashed the next frame to extend his lead at 4-1, the Aussie managing to pull back just a frame (with a great 136), as the match was coming to an end. Another century break was being created by Stephen Lee's cue, this time a great 120 sealing a 5-2 victory over the Australian player.

Robert Milkins succeeded to eliminate the last of the remaining wild card players, Jin Long capitulating by 5-2 in front of the Englishman's breaks of 51, 26, 106 and 39, while Mark King beat Tom Ford 5-4 after a match that was breathtaking.

Defending champion goes home
Both players were at their best, not letting more than a frame to stand between them and logically going all the way though the last frame, frame that entered King's pocket after the man from Romford collected 80 points off the table.

Shaun Murphy wrote his name of the quarter-finals list also after beating Joe Perry 5-3, as well as world number one Mark Selby who proved to be too strong for Michael Holt although the PTC 10 champion was in control of the match up until 3-2. Still, from that point on, "The Jester" used a 46 to put his nose in front and won a scrappy affair to close the deal at 5-3.

Here are Day 4 list of results:

29 Mark King 5-4 Tom Ford
32 Michael Holt 3-5 Mark Selby
30 Mark Allen 5-4 Judd Trump
31 Shaun Murphy 5-3 Joe Perry

26 Jin Long 2-5 Robert Milkins
25 John Higgins 5-0 Jamie Cope
27 Graeme Dott 5-3 Marcus Campbell
28 Stephen Lee 5-2 Neil Robertson

Day 5 match schedule:

QF3 Mark King v.  Mark Allen
QF4 Shaun Murphy v. Mark Selby

QF1 John Higgins v. Robert Milkins
QF2 Graeme Dott v. Stephen Lee

*all hours are UK time