John Higgins sealed a crushing 13-1 win over Jack Lisowski to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship.
The illustrious Scot will be making his 14th appearance in the last eight at the Crucible. He will now face either Judd Trump or Ricky Walden for an opportunity to compete in the one-table setup for the ninth time.
Today’s landslide result has matched the record for the biggest winning margin in a second round tie. The extent of the defeat for Lisowski will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Englishman, although he will be able to look back on a fine 10-7 win over 2015 Crucible king Stuart Bingham in the first round.
Higgins came into this session having secured a clean sweep of the preceding frames, leading 8-0. He ruthlessly charged towards the finishing line this afternoon, picking up where he left off by taking the first two frames and extending his advantage to 10-0.
Lisowski prevented the whitewash thanks to a break of 81 in frame 11. However, Higgins restored his ten-frame lead at the mid-session after composing a run of 100.
When they returned the four-time World Champion dramatically embarked upon making his first maximum break at the Crucible. However, having potted 11 blacks he fell out of position and was forced to take the pink. Not to be denied a slice of history, Higgins continued with the break and completed a 146 total clearance. It was just the fourth run of 146 at the Crucible and puts Higgins in position for the £10,000 high break prize.
The 30-time ranking event winner then fired in a contribution of 73 to confirm his 13-1 win.
Higgins said: “I’ve never won 13-1 before so it is probably one of my best results. Jack dismantled me 6-2 at the China Open so I was really up for the game. Next season will be big for him, he’ll be competing and winning in big events.
“It was a bit disappointing I didn’t get the position on the black for a 147. There were people in the crowd saying to try and double the black, but I went for the 146 to try and take the high break prize. The £10,000 prize is a lot of money and if I manage to win it it’ll be great. I know there could still be a 147, so I’m not counting my chickens yet.
“I know you try and stay professional and be ruthless, but I feel for him a little as well. A couple of years ago I played Stephen Hendry and lost heavily, it’s the worst feeling in the world. It’s very tough venue when you’re struggling, the harder you try the worst it gets.”
Afterwards a disappointed Lisowski said that he is hoping that he can learn from the experience.
“I should embrace what happened. I didn’t feel as bad as when Barry Hawkins beat me here in 2013, when I wanted the room to swallow me up. I just had to stick in there, and keep going into the pack and see what happened. I couldn’t get anything going,” said the 26-year-old. “The whole game I thought that I could rattle off a few frames if he started missing. If I could have got some luck, something might have happened, but obviously it didn’t.”
Mark Williams holds a commanding 10-6 lead against Robert Milkins after their second session.
The two-time World Champion Williams came into today with a 5-3 lead. He built upon that this afternoon, taking five out of eight frames with a top break of 69 to edge towards the winning line.
They will play their concluding session tomorrow at 7pm.