TWO of snooker’s most in form stars will do battle tomorrow for a place in the UK Championship semi-finals.
Neil Robertson booked his place into the last eight earlier today after another flawless display saw him beat Stephen Maguire 6-1.
And Higgins, looking to win his third major ranking event of the season after successes in the Australian Open and International Championship, continued his winning ways with a 6-4 win against fellow Scot Jamie Burnett.
Robertson, who last month won the invitational Champion of Champions event in front of the ITV 4 cameras, has resumed his hot streak of form in York and today was no exception as breaks of 126, 101 and 113 stormed him to an impressive victory.
Sounds impressive doesn’t it? Well the world number 3 himself said it was his best performance of the campaign so far.
“That was definitely the best I have played this season, without a doubt” he told World Snooker. “I played great but I knew I had to.
“It’s easy to say I’ll win the tournament playing like that but in the Masters last season I played a similar standard against Ali Carter and Ronnie O’Sullivan. But then I took my foot off the gas completely in the final and lost 10-2 to Shaun Murphy – I didn’t think I’d struggle that much.
“I’ve learned my lesson there – I need to maintain my focus and keep the foot down now.”
Robertson’s next test undoubtedly will be the biggest he has had for some time as he comes up against a man playing his best snooker in years.
Higgins’ return to the limelight after a torrid few has been this season’s highlight so far and Friday afternoon’s contest is set to be a cracker.
The four-times world champion made the game look easy at times during his last 16 battle against Burnett as he sailed into a 4-1 lead.
Burnett did well to battle back to 4-4 but Higgins got his game back together just when he needed to close out the win.
Elsewhere, Liang Wenbo dramatically secured his place in the quarter-finals after fighting back from 5-3 down to beat Tom Ford.
Wenbo, who in the previous round came back from 4-1 behind to knock out Judd Trump, made another stunning fightback as he won the final three frames to set up a meeting with Marco Fu.
The other remaining match saw Martin Gould come out on top of his last 16 bout against Joe Swail winning 6-3.
UK CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 QUARTER-FINALS
David GRACE vs Martin GOULD
Liang WENBO vs Marco FU
Neil ROBERTSON vs John HIGGINS
Matthew SELT vs Mark SELBY