John Higgins’ struggling form on the table continued tonight after he suffered an agonising first round defeat in this year’s Masters.
The four-times world champion fell on the losing side of an eleven-frame encounter against Welshman Ryan Day who sealed victory with a stunning clearance of 128 in the final frame decider.
Since his defeat in the China Championship final in September, Higgins has only made one quarter-final appearance – a slump of form which has seen the snooker legend even call his game ‘garbage’ at one point.
And he will be disappointed tonight after letting slip of a 3-1 lead and then going on to lose despite fighting back to force a final frame decider.
It means world number 13 Day will next face either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals.
The thrilling match added to a cracking opening day of this year’s Masters after Luca Brecel beat defending champion Mark Allen in a contest which also went all the way to the final frame.
Higgins, who has won The Masters on two occasions, admitted after his early UK Championship exit in December that he was considering his future in the game.
“I am fudging about making 30 breaks – it is garbage,” he said at the time.
“It is a big worry. I am nearly at the end of my time in this game.
“I need to have a big think at the end of the season. I cannot put myself through this and you will not get anywhere in this game doing that.”
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