John Higgins’ frustrations over his form and state of his game were not made any better after he failed to reach the business end stages of the Scottish Open.
The four-times world champion said earlier this month he was considering his future in the sport after being dumped out of the UK Championship in the early rounds.
But despite making a 147 earlier this week in the latest Home Nations event, Higgins’ bad form continued after he lost 4-2 to England’s Alfie Burden in the last 16 stage on Thursday night.
It means Higgins’ only silverware in 2018 was his Welsh Open triumph more than ten months ago – marking a year of disappointment for the Wizard of Wishaw.
Since then he lost out on the World Championship final for a second year running and suffered an agonising final frame defeat to Mark Selby in the China Championship final of September this year.
His disappointing form of late has seen him crash out of the Northern Ireland Open in the first round, a second round loss in the UK Championship and has failed to reach the quarter-final stages in Glasgow this week.
Meanwhile, Shaun Murphy is back to winning ways this week in Scotland.
The former world champion has had a season to forget so far suffering SIX first round exits in ranking events.
But the Scottish Open has seen a change of fortune for Murphy who is now through to the quarter-final stages.
Murphy has beaten Sunny Akani, Michael Holt, Nigel Bond and Kyren Wilson to be in contention for the trophy and the £70,000 jackpot prize. He next faces world number 101 Sam Baird for a place in the semi-finals.
Recent UK Championship finalist Mark Allen is once again going strong after he beat Graeme Dott to reach the last eight and Northern Ireland Open winner Judd Trump is in contention for a second Home Nations title this season after he beat Ian Burns to reach the quarter-finals.
The quarter-final draw is as follows:
Sam BAIRD vs Shaun MURPHY
Stuart CARRINGTON vs Judd TRUMP
Alfie BURDEN vs Mark ALLEN
Ryan DAY vs Daniel WELLS
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