Ronnie O'Sullivan SMASHES Century in Deciding Frame | MrQ UK Championship

Highfield Downs Robertson On Road To Recovery

World number 61 Liam Highfield scored his most significant win since returning from breaking his wrist in an e-scooter accident earlier this year, beating 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson 5-3 at the Wuhan Open.

Highfield suffered the injury following the conclusion of last season. It led to several months away from the baize and subsequently a slow start to the new campaign, with today’s victory marking only being his second match win.

Defeat for Robertson marks a continuation of his difficult start to the season. The 23-time ranking event winner is in need of an upturn in form to ensure he is still in the top 16 at the end of the season. However, following the match he did reveal after the match that he would be taking some time off towards the end of the year to return home to Australia.

This afternoon’s match started well for Robertson, who made breaks of 66 and 140 on his way to establishing a 3-1 advantage at the mid-session interval.

When play resumed the tie was turned completely on its head. Highfield fired in runs of 95, 76, 63 and 68 to blitz to four consecutive frames and a 5-3 win.

“Someone came out of the bushes when I was on the scooter, I tried to swerve him and came over the handlebar,” said 32-year-old Highfield while recalling his accident. “I’m just building back and trying to be kind to myself, because I had four months out. I’m just practising at the moment to be honest.

“I came off the scooter about a week before the Championship League at the start of the season and was in a cast for a couple of months. I had rehabilitation for another few weeks after that. I’m still not pain free when I’m playing snooker and I’ve only been playing with ease for the last couple of weeks though. I’ve turned up to events to get back playing.

“It was worrying when the cast came off. I thought it would be a long time to get back my range of motion and strength. Every time I put my hand on a rail it was shaking because the muscles were weak. I think I dealt with it well. I’ve been knocked back a few times with Crohn’s disease, so I’ve had time out before and come back. I just had to show a bit of resilience.”

Yuan Sijun scored a surprise 5-0 loss against his compatriot and Chinese legend Ding Junhui. The victory acted as revenge for Yuan, who suffered whitewashes against 14-time ranking event winner Ding in their previous two meetings, losing 5-0 at the 2020 European Masters and 4-0 at the 2020 Northern Ireland Open. Yuan’s reward for victory this time around is a clash with Alfie Burden.

Martin O’Donnell continued his fine form with a 5-1 win over Scotland’s four-time World Champion John Higgins. The result is a reversal of their recent English Open quarter-final. O’Donnell had beaten Mark Selby on his way to the last eight in Brentwood.

Selby bowed out here in Wuhan after surrendering a 4-3 lead to lose 5-4 against Xu Si, while Ronnie O’Sullivan continued his quest to remain world number one with a 5-1 win over Mark Davis.