JOHN Higgins insists he will have to "play 100 times better" if he is to get past Yan Bingtao in this afternoon's third round meeting at the Betway UK Championship.

The 42-year-old Scot set up a clash against the Chinese prodigy with a 6-4 victory over Cao Yupeng on Sunday.

The three-time UK champion was well below his best against Cao – a 59 in the fifth frame was his only break over 50.

And Higgins – who won his 29th ranking title at the Indian Open earlier this season – has revealed he needs a new tip on his cue before today's tough test against Yan.

“I was rubbish on Sunday, I brought Cao down to my level,” said world number five Higgins. “I wasn’t happy with my cue tip and when I was hitting balls it was gone. That can happen with tips sometimes.

“I’m going to drive up the road (to Glasgow) and ask Fraser Patrick to stick a new tip on for me. I can’t play any worse than that and if I went out with the same tip next I would be lucky to win a frame.

“I think everyone rates Bingtao really highly, he could very well win the tournament this week so I’m going to have to play 100 times better to have a chance of beating him.

"He enjoys the big stage, he revels in it. He’s probably going to be on the big stage for the next 20 years. He believes that he can win and you don’t get that in a lot of young players.”

In yesterday's round three action, Stephen Maguire trailed Liang Wenbo 4-3 when he made a 117 in the eighth frame. The next two were shared before 2004 UK Champion Maguire took the decider with a 67 to win 6-5.

Ryan Day won an exciting Welsh derby with Mark Williams 6-5. Northern Ireland Open champion Williams built a 4-1 lead with a top break of 102 before Day made 76 and 65 in recovering to 4-4.

The next two were shared before Williams had first chance in the decider but made just four before missing a red to a top corner. Day compiled a run of 68 which proved enough.

Day remains ahead of Neil Robertson in the race to the Masters, while defeat for Liang could leave him in danger of being leap-frogged by both players.

Up and coming Chinese cueman Lyu Haotian scored one of his best career wins with a 6-4 defeat of Marco Fu.

Lyu, 19, reached the Northern Ireland Open semi-finals last month and continued to show his potential as he fired breaks of 121, 85, 85 and 80 in beating world number seven Fu.