• Welsh Open

Higgins dumped out of Welsh Open

ESPN staff
February 12, 2013
John Higgins could not find his rhythm on Tuesday © Getty Images

Former world No. 1 and three-time Welsh Open winner John Higgins crashed out of the 2013 competition at the first round stage on Tuesday, losing 4-1 to Ken Doherty.

Higgins last won the event in 2011 but he was slow out of the blocks in the best-of-seven-frames opener against Doherty.

The Scot conceded the opening two stanzas before getting on the scoreboard, with Doherty able to capitalise on a string of Higgins errors. The Irishman moved to within a frame of victory at 3-1 before closing out the match after Higgins again failed to make the most of his own visits to the table.

There were no such problems for England's Sam Baird, who beat Gerard Greene 4-0 during the afternoon session.

It was not a good day for China, with Marco Fu and Liang Wenbo both beaten. Fu was defeated 4-2 by Mark Allen, while Wenbo lost by the same scoreline to Matthew Stevens.

Later in the day, Shaun Murphy was stunned by Pankaj Advani of India, who won 4-3 in a nervy contest. Murphy had been looking to win the Welsh Open for the first time but trailed throughout against his lesser-known rival.

Also victorious was Alan McManus, who beat Barry Hawkins 4-2.

In the morning session, Stephen Maguire looked in good touch as he beat Anthony Hamilton 4-2. Maguire does not have a great record in the Newport event - he was beaten in the first round 12 months ago, but he put on a solid show against Hamilton.

He opened with a break of 89 and although Hamilton hit back with a century of his own in the second and took the third, Maguire was solid throughout. He levelled the contest with a ton in the fourth and battled his way to the final two frames.

Neil Robertson was a little short of his best, but still had far too much class to beat Ian Burns 4-1. The Australian's top break was 71, but Burns had nothing in the locker to counter.

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