UK Snooker: John Higgins frustrated with his form during Jamie Burnett clash

York Press: John Higgins John Higgins

JOHN HIGGINS felt like quitting the game during his 6-4 win over Jamie Burnett but the three-time UK Champion is delighted to still have a chance of adding another title.

The Wizard of Wishaw was frustrated with his form throughout the last 32 clash – describing the experience of some of his shot selections as “soul destroying”.

He clinched the match in spectacular style, though, forcing a miss from a snooker from his Scottish compatriot and then crashing in a free-ball pink into the green pocket before clearing up to win.

“I'm through and I am delighted with that,” he said.

“The only long ball I have potted all day is the crunch one – a pink into the green bag with a free ball.

“I feel great about winning. When you play some silly shots that you think years ago you would never have done – running out of position – it’s just soul destroying.”

Mark Selby, meanwhile, is experiencing a strong sense of deja vu.

The defending champion overcame insurmountable odds to win the UK Championship a year ago, and the Leicester potter seems determined to grab his victories the hard way this time around as well.

Two frames down at the interval to Shane Castle in his opening match, Selby once again trailed 3-1 to Tian Pengfei – before winning five frames in a row to book a last 32 clash with Stuart Carrington.

He said: “It seems to be the same old story with me – 3-1 down and then start playing okay. Tian played well, he put me under pressure more or less throughout the match.

“The problem is I probably try too hard to get off to a good start at the beginning of the match. It probably works the other way, rather than just being relaxed.

“It’s something to look into for the next game so, hopefully, it doesn’t happen again.”

Asked whether he had a similar feeling about the event to that of 12 months ago, he said: “Hopefully. It’s still early days yet and I am only in the last 32.

“I have got another five matches to go but it’s fingers crossed. I’m still in the tournament and I still have a chance.”

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