NORTHERN Ireland’s Mark Allen fought back from 3-0 down to defeat UK Championship winner Judd Trump to reach the quarter-finals of the Haikou World Open.
Trump, who beat Allen 10-8 in the final of UK Championship in December, made a solid start winning the first frame on the black and then a century break in the third put him three frames to the good without reply.
Allen though fought back with a century break to get himself off the mark before the mid-session interval. Then after the break Allen continued his fight-back winning the next two frames to level at 3-3.
Another century break then saw Allen win his fourth frame in a row and lead for the first time in the match. But Trump in the next frame stopped the rot and forced the match into a thrilling decider winning a scrappy eighth frame.
But Allen was to gain revenge over Trump when his third century break of the match sealed the contest to book a quarter-final spot after the Bristol potting sensation missed a tricky red and left an open table for his opponent.
Allen will meet Mark King for a place in the semi-final after the Essex man came through a tense battle with Leicester’s Tom Ford.
King, who reached the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters earlier this season, battled back from the jaws of defeat at 4-3 down to level and then win the deciding frame.
Robert Milkins reached his first quarter-final at a major ranking event in more than two years beating Jin Long 5-2 and will meet John Higgins who found his best form of the season today to beat Jamie Cope 5-0.
“That’s probably the best I’ve played this season,” Higgins told World Snooker. “The first frame was very important. Jamie could have won it and then it would have been a different match. But I won it and that got my confidence up and played well after that.”
However, the best game in the quarter-final draw, arguably, will be between Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby. The former came through his last 16 tie winning 5-3 against Joe Perry and world-number-one Selby beat Michael Holt by the same scoreline.
The remining quarter-final tie will see Stephen Lee take on Scotland’s Graeme Dott. Lee continued his fine run of form to beat defending champion Neil Robertson 5 -2 and in the process hit the tournament’s highest break so far of 138.
And Dott made it to the next stage with a comfortable 5-2 win over Marcus Campbell. The quarter-final matches will be played tomorrow (Friday).