Third Round: Part 2 UK Snooker Championship Extra


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Third Round: Part 2

Hazel Irvine presents highlights from Tuesday afternoon's action at the £850,000 UK Championship.


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you hello again from the United

0:00:350:00:40

you hello again from the United

Kingdom championship. Cracking match

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this evening, I must say. It

features John Higgins, the

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42-year-old still in the top ten,

the world number five, facing a

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17-year-old who hadn't even been

born when John Higgins won the first

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of his first three UK jumping ships.

Yan Bingtao is the new emerging star

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and snooker. He has shot up the

rankings from 57 to 26 already and

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only ten days ago featured in his

first world ranking final. This

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fellow knows no fear. And in fact

the John Higgins a month ago, 6-2,

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in the International Championship.

No wonder, then, that John Higgins

0:01:180:01:21

ny was in for a match. Let's catch

this best of 11 frames encounter in

0:01:210:01:27

the company of Alan McManus and

Steve Davis.

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So, John Higgins gets is underway

against the young Chinese sensation,

0:01:380:01:43

Yan Bingtao. Very much a generation

gap. 25 years between the two

0:01:430:01:52

players. Yan Bingtao, you wouldn't

know it. He's had a fantastic first

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half of the season. He will be right

up for this match today, Steve

0:02:020:02:08

Davis.

Yes. If you haven't seen him

on your TV screens before, you are

0:02:080:02:15

in for a treat. Phenomenal player,

at such a young age.

0:02:150:02:27

There is a risk when you're doing a

slow shot like that to try to get

0:03:070:03:18

the Google on the top cushion. If

you get the double-kiss, and the

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table doesn't pull absolutely true,

first blood to John Higgins.

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I was in the box a couple of

evenings ago when John Higgins beat

0:03:480:03:57

Yan spits Patrick, and to be fair, a

struggle, for John Higgins, that is.

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Five or six basic shots he missed,

not cling to his standards. It will

0:04:040:04:09

be interesting to see the start that

he gets off to this afternoon.

He

0:04:090:04:18

didn't really leave himself that

nicely on the red, but he has

0:04:180:04:23

managed to bring the cue ball into

play for the pink. Just nudged its

0:04:230:04:28

way clear from the pack. Ideally, he

would like to get this back on the

0:04:280:04:43

spot, but if it doesn't spot...

0:04:430:04:48

APPLAUSE

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That's unfortunate. That was a good

shot from John.

The pink does spot,

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but unfortunately it's end of break.

It would be a bit of a shot to get

0:05:310:05:39

this in behind the black.

APPLAUSE

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Hassey got the one-cushion escape to

the right-hand side of the table or

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be forced to play this with a couple

of cushions? The left-hand side is

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no good. Not even a red playing that

way. He's got the side.

If he

0:06:210:06:26

decides to choose the ball lowest

and closest to our cameras, he wants

0:06:260:06:31

to hit it on this side. Mostly

judged. I suppose you could say a

0:06:310:06:51

bit unlucky, warbling in the jaws

and then the cue ball sliding up the

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table a bit because this is now a

realistic chance of a popped into

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the middle for John Higgins. -- a

chance of a pot.

Gorgeous shot. He's

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off running now. That is what you

call a proper chance. Wonder how he

0:07:120:07:22

cueing, looks like he had struggled.

He had some issues with his tip

0:07:220:07:29

which he had changed a couple of

nights ago.

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Not that John Higgins ever needs any

motivation to give it 100% but he

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will be well aware of Yan Bingtao's

prowess, Corsie lost to him, 6-2, in

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the International Championship, so

he will be fired up for this match.

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Every time John Higgins plays a

shot, it's always the same

0:08:280:08:32

preparation. The same backwards and

forwards movements of the cue. Even

0:08:320:08:38

the symbols of shots. And the great

thing about that is, doing it like

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that, it's just like you are all O2

pilot. You don't have the worry

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about thinking how you cueing. You

have done it so many times before,

0:08:490:08:54

and you just keep repeating. -- you

are on autopilot.

0:08:540:09:04

May be on very easy shots he gives

it one less further and on very

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difficult shots perhaps one more,

but other than that it is the same

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pace of cueing all the time. Very

relaxed but very assured.

Such a

0:09:260:09:37

smooth technique, John Higgins has.

One of the secrets of this game, be

0:09:370:09:45

as smooth as you possibly can. John

has got it to an absolute tee. It is

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a gradual backswing, but so smooth,

and my spores and delivery, and as

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Steve said, always the same. Talking

about the simple shots, he has a

0:10:020:10:09

couple of feathers.

And one of the

big mistakes amateur players make is

0:10:090:10:23

that final backswing. They swing it

back too quickly. He begins my son

0:10:230:10:31

with that backswing, and would have

expected a better result. He's not

0:10:310:10:36

over the line yet in this frame, so

hope for Yan Bingtao.

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Very good effort trying to get that

cue ball of trouble. It was tough to

0:11:230:11:33

control. John Higgins has a stenting

long red into the left corner, but

0:11:330:11:45

if he misses it, there was a

counterattack on so this is where

0:11:450:11:49

John Higgins has great strength in

his matchplay, deciding when there's

0:11:490:11:53

a little bit too much danger

involved in playing a shot, or how

0:11:530:11:56

to play the shop. Perhaps this is

one where he would play the screw

0:11:560:12:02

back to safety at the same time even

though that makes the pot more

0:12:020:12:09

difficult. If he fancies the pot

completely, and he goes for it,

0:12:090:12:16

full-blooded. A little bit of screw

back for insurance, not all the way

0:12:160:12:27

back to the baulk cushion because

then no value in potting the red.

0:12:270:12:32

But leaving his opponent at

distance, if he missed.

0:12:320:12:46

Yan Bingtao wouldn't have wanted to

see that black going sane. He was

0:12:530:12:57

hoping to break it out, but not to

the side cushion. -- black going

0:12:570:13:01

safe. I didn't see the match between

them in the International

0:13:010:13:14

Championship, whether it was an open

game that suited the younger player

0:13:140:13:17

or whether Yan Bingtao played a

great safety game as well, but it

0:13:170:13:23

lends itself well but if Yan Bingtao

can beat John Higgins 6-2 when John

0:13:230:13:31

Higgins was on form, then he must be

a great tactical play, too.

Yes, he

0:13:310:13:37

bossed it. This is where he has been

strong. This type of shot. He has

0:13:370:13:52

been knocking those income of late.

That was a surprise for me, him

0:13:520:13:56

missing that. Once again, John is

going to have to go to work

0:13:560:14:05

tactically year. -- here.

0:14:050:14:21

It was important for that shot to

get the cue ball tied to the cushion

0:14:340:14:41

to stop Yan Bingtao being able to

screw back to baulk. It'll be

0:14:410:14:47

interesting to if John Higgins is on

top format was a good safety game

0:14:470:14:52

together as well. And how Yan

Bingtao can cope with that. You

0:14:520:14:57

don't expect the younger players to

have great tactical nous but the

0:14:570:15:06

reason why it didn't.

Well, he plays

enough.

The interesting thing is,

0:15:060:15:14

spending a fair bit of time on it,

nothing wrong with that, the be shot

0:15:140:15:18

would be the long red to the corner,

screw back to safety but there's a

0:15:180:15:23

red over the top corner so perhaps

he can play the cut red, the more

0:15:230:15:30

aggressive pot. Tough shot. Nothing

wrong with going for that. He was

0:15:300:15:40

playing catch up, 54 points behind.

He didn't just brush into it. He

0:15:400:15:47

considered it well before he played

the shot. John Higgins still needs

0:15:470:15:53

another red to more or less

guarantee this frame.

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You could say that was a little bit

unlucky. Going in off. You would

0:16:070:16:13

think perhaps the green and the

black would have been like

0:16:130:16:20

goalkeepers, but he found the gap.

Talking about John scoring. His

0:16:200:16:28

highest break in his first two

matches was only 64. Then early

0:16:280:16:34

three other breaks of 50, in the 12

frames that he's won. When would you

0:16:340:16:40

ever think that about John Higgins?

Then if he had some kind of tip

0:16:400:16:48

problems and he has been able to

sort that out, then perhaps you will

0:16:480:16:51

see a different John Higgins here

today.

I think that the tables have

0:16:510:16:55

been recovered not last evening but

the evening before. And the evidence

0:16:550:17:01

of the matches yesterday the

standard has been excellent. I spoke

0:17:010:17:04

to Graeme Dott. He enjoyed the

table, though way it was plain. So,

0:17:040:17:11

conditions better, you would expect

a better performance.

And what a

0:17:110:17:19

performance that was.

0:17:190:17:28

Can't do much with this. The sort of

under it that. I thought he was

0:17:320:17:43

going to try to play that to get

onto the top cushion but that looks

0:17:430:17:47

suicidal.

I think he was trying to

push the reds towards the other reds

0:17:470:17:54

on the black cushion. It must have

just run off the pad.

Surely he

0:17:540:17:58

wouldn't have tried the pot at that

pace. Too risky. He has tried

0:17:580:18:06

something with the reds, but he

would have hoped for a better

0:18:060:18:10

outcome than that. So this is a very

tough and missable pot into the

0:18:100:18:16

middle, especially as he's going to

try and play position as well. Very

0:18:160:18:20

difficult shot, and he hasn't had

much table time. That's an

0:18:200:18:28

interesting thing, Alan. That shows

some maturity, understanding that

0:18:280:18:35

playing for position made the pot

more missable, so cut your losses,

0:18:350:18:40

get the points, play good safety

shot. Quite impressed with that.

0:18:400:18:45

Couldn't agree more. Almost playing

the numbers game. He is 43 behind,

0:18:450:18:51

there's still plenty on the table,

should he another chance.

I tell you

0:18:510:18:57

what, you don't see that often from

younger players. Because of the

0:18:570:19:02

exuberance of youth, you see your

chance and you go for it. You missed

0:19:020:19:06

the chance and you lose a frame and

go, I couldn't do anything about

0:19:060:19:11

that, but that has kept him in the

game, that shot. Interesting.

I

0:19:110:19:15

thought it was a good choice. It

sends a message the John that,

0:19:150:19:21

tactically Yan Bingtao is learning

all the time.

And he has got his

0:19:210:19:26

reward. The pink goes safe and he's

got the mess. There's another

0:19:260:19:33

decision. Do you play the open red

even though the balls are worse

0:19:330:19:38

positions or do you put the opponent

back in? This is worth thinking

0:19:380:19:41

about an open to debate, even in the

commentary box.

I think I would put

0:19:410:19:50

him back.

The pink going to the side

is a massive plus for John Higgins.

0:19:500:19:56

In these situations, if you put

yourself in the other guy's shoes,

0:19:560:20:01

John Higgins will be standing

thinking, I hope he goes for the

0:20:010:20:04

red.

Air again, if he puts them back

in and John Higgins plays a great

0:20:040:20:12

safety shot, he is no closer, points

wise, so perhaps he could play for

0:20:120:20:17

the black. Get it back on the spot.

0:20:170:20:27

The point about is that John Higgins

will be sitting in his chair,

0:20:320:20:39

delighted that Yan played the red.

No chance of getting on a red, you

0:20:390:20:44

would think, unless he pull

something out of the bag.

He would

0:20:440:20:57

have hoped to have been in a better

positional shot, certainly he would

0:20:570:21:02

have been hoping to get further down

the table. But, even so, only 29

0:21:020:21:11

points behind now so there is only

that pink ball that is safe. That is

0:21:110:21:17

a bit of a loose safety shot.

Getting some, not enough right hand

0:21:170:21:22

side spin on the cue ball.

He should

have played with check. Been

0:21:220:21:29

ambitious enough to try and lift the

ping from the position is in. That

0:21:290:21:37

was something he didn't quite spot.

For John Higgins now, the scoreboard

0:21:370:21:42

is important. That position looks

nice on the black. That is perfect.

0:21:420:21:52

That is a brilliant shot.

Especially

as he needs two reds to keep eye on

0:21:520:22:00

the black, it was excellent. Not

guaranteed to pot the red along the

0:22:000:22:06

cushion, but he's given himself

every chance. Especially from there.

0:22:060:22:11

APPLAUSE

0:22:110:22:21

You live and die in this game by the

decisions you make. You are all

0:22:300:22:34

capable of playing the shots, but

the decisions are so important. I

0:22:340:22:40

think that Yan should have put John

back in when he missed the resonate

0:22:400:22:43

the pink. It is gone now obviously

but he will be learning all the

0:22:430:22:47

time, obviously, Yan Bingtao.

It

wasn't the worst decision in the

0:22:470:22:57

world, splitting hairs on the

decision. Barring snookers and

0:22:570:23:03

accidents, John Higgins will take

the first frame.

0:23:030:23:09

John Higgins breaking off in frame

three. He's been put through his

0:23:360:23:40

paces so far this afternoon.

0:23:400:23:51

We'll see just how well he knows how

to play winning snooker, regardless

0:23:530:23:56

of the standard. That was a

brilliant opening opportunist red

0:23:560:24:03

that setup that contribution, his

highest break of the tournament so

0:24:030:24:08

far, 66, he made.

0:24:080:24:18

He made that opening red look a lot

easier than it was. Played for

0:25:180:25:22

position at the same time. Didn't

just blast at it. A couple of blues

0:25:220:25:27

reds. -- a couple of loose reds.

Nicely judged. I think he's got

0:25:270:25:41

enough of an angle that he can

bounce the cue ball to the top

0:25:410:25:44

cushion and get back on that red.

Might be going into the reds, here,

0:25:440:25:48

though. Not so, the third shot. I

thought for a minute he was setting

0:25:480:25:58

up to disturb more. Now he will need

a nice angle on this black to go

0:25:580:26:04

into the pack, though. That little

flick on that red creates the angle.

0:26:040:26:12

And that second red of the two

together at the back looks inviting.

0:26:120:26:17

That should disturb things quite

nicely, to stun into it. Obituary

0:26:170:26:27

low on that, I think. Preferred more

of a power stun, there.

Maybe he

0:26:270:26:38

felt the shape of it wasn't

conducive to going in with power,

0:26:380:26:42

with the deep screw, but he's got

one, a tough little red to middle,

0:26:420:26:46

but should it go in, and it has,

John Higgins slowly but surely

0:26:460:26:53

finding his way into a bit of form.

0:26:530:27:04

Just sizing up the situation. Is it

worth playing for a choice of pink

0:27:230:27:27

and black office red? -- off this

red. Not sure what he's doing.

0:27:270:27:42

Whether he is deciding to play on to

the blue to split the pack up rather

0:27:420:27:49

than the black because he doesn't

like the shape of the pack. The

0:27:490:27:55

pink, as well, but why he kept

looking at that red to the middle

0:27:550:28:00

pocket, I don't know. Maybe he

wasn't looking at the red, he was

0:28:000:28:08

looking at the pink. Never really

liked this type of shot but

0:28:080:28:20

sometimes you have to play it. Not

always easy to guarantee, are they

0:28:200:28:27

going to split? Now what?

That was a

brilliant shot, actually.

Looks like

0:28:270:28:36

that pink doesn't spot, but it may

be covered, it will go close to it,

0:28:360:28:44

can he still get the red in the

middle?

0:28:440:28:55

The referee will try to make sure

this is perfect, as close as

0:28:560:29:01

possible to soon spot, in a direct

line to line the spot, but not

0:29:010:29:06

touching the cue ball, as close as

possible to it. It is very classy of

0:29:060:29:13

John just go back to his chair and

have a set of water, wherever

0:29:130:29:27

Tatiana replaces the pink, he will

still get it. Tatiana, there, doing

0:29:270:29:31

a very good job.

0:29:310:29:44

All she is doing a fantastic job in

refereeing this and looking after

0:29:440:29:49

two children and Ben Woollaston as

well. The ups and downs of the

0:29:490:29:53

snooker player.

0:29:530:29:58

That was another brilliant shot. He

is unlucky if he is not on one.

0:30:030:30:18

I think I am correct in saying that

then 's wife, Tatiana, she cannot

0:30:240:30:30

referee Ben 's matches but I do not

think she can referee matches that

0:30:300:30:35

he has an interesting as well. She

has to be seen to be correct, of

0:30:350:30:39

course nothing would be untoward

but... There must be absolutely

0:30:390:30:44

correct decisions by W the BSA. That

was tight and she got it. -- he got

0:30:440:30:51

it. This black is not guaranteed. He

is a little bit out of position so

0:30:510:30:58

the biggest shot of this frame so

far for John Higgins.

0:30:580:31:02

He would not want to take his foot

off the pedal here.

0:31:050:31:13

Well, after a tough start this is

starting to look like a John Higgins

0:31:570:32:01

masterclass here today.

0:32:010:32:04

Perhaps it needed a match of this

quality for John to focus properly,

0:32:120:32:17

or it could be the fact that he has

had two problems. One of the two. --

0:32:170:32:33

tip problems.

We're getting the full

gambit of John 's abilities. He is

0:32:330:32:39

tough to out. He has spotted some

very clever shots, like that red

0:32:390:32:45

into the top pocket that set up the

frame-winning chance in frame two.

0:32:450:32:57

Higgins is just building up of

steam.

0:32:570:33:01

It is that ability to just slip into

scoring mode, even though it appears

0:33:060:33:10

he is not quite on top of his game.

0:33:100:33:15

John Higgins 80.

No century but a

classy break of 80 and John Higgins

0:34:000:34:05

is halfway home.

Frame for. Yan

Bingtao to break.

0:34:050:34:17

Yan Bingtao is 3-0 down. One of the

old Masters of this game but can he

0:34:240:34:31

find his way back in it? Perhaps

John Sutton stall out today, coming

0:34:310:34:40

into this match, having lost

recently to Yan Bingtao in China.

0:34:400:34:45

Maybe he set his stall out and said

he would give the boy nothing today.

0:34:450:34:51

I don't think he played that red on

the far side of the brown, it was a

0:35:160:35:21

tough shot but even so a good

outcome stop he is just trying to

0:35:210:35:25

contain things. Another excellent

shot from John Higgins there. Yes.

0:35:250:35:37

Very rarely does John Higgins

collide with a full colour. He knows

0:35:370:35:41

his way around the snooker table.

There doesn't seem to be a lot to

0:35:410:35:49

Yan Bingtao can do at the moment

except play containing snooker and

0:35:490:35:53

hope for a mistake will stop he

doesn't seem to have lost his

0:35:530:36:01

patience, dusty? Is facial

expressions haven't changed.

Yes,

0:36:010:36:07

but the only thing that we both

know, when you are in that sort of

0:36:070:36:11

defence and battling mode, it is

difficult to flick the switch and

0:36:110:36:15

then be aggressive because you do

not feel aggressive. At some stage

0:36:150:36:19

of this map he is going to have to

be. He will have to change things

0:36:190:36:28

up. I would be telling him to get

the balls openers early as I

0:36:280:36:33

possibly could. Obviously he cannot

do it from a position like this but

0:36:330:36:40

at the start of the frame try to get

the balls openers darted up a

0:36:400:36:43

little.

It is tough because you

cannot force it. You would just get

0:36:430:36:50

picked off. It is a very difficult

one.

0:36:500:36:57

He may have left a red to the yellow

pocket.

Yes, if Yan Bingtao plays

0:37:050:37:15

this match and loses 6-0 because

John Higgins totally out place in it

0:37:150:37:20

will not change my opinion of Yan

Bingtao. He is a future champion.

0:37:200:37:27

This is not a certainty but the fact

that John Higgins has had most of

0:37:270:37:31

the table time, you would expect him

to get very, very close. Yes. What

0:37:310:37:37

do I know?

That was awkward cueing,

wasn't it, that made it difficult.

0:37:370:37:45

You would fancy knocking it in. He

is able to get the middle ball

0:37:450:37:53

striking. I think Yan Bingtao should

be opening up the pack and play your

0:37:530:37:57

safety and just changing a little.

He will not get anywhere against

0:37:570:38:02

John just tapping around. Half an

hour since Yan Bingtao wanted

0:38:020:38:12

anything.

He did have a chance to

open the balls but is so tough will

0:38:120:38:26

stop to criticise that, it is a

tough one, and I understand exactly

0:38:260:38:30

what you are saying. If he plays a

shot to open the balls up from 61

0:38:300:38:36

overrate whole because you cannot

guarantee how they will go then you

0:38:360:38:39

look like a mug!

It is a risk game

but sometimes you just have to say

0:38:390:38:44

to be aggressive and not care about

the consequences because tipping and

0:38:440:38:49

tapping around he will not get

anywhere with John. Take this on,

0:38:490:39:00

cut the middle, cue ball through the

gap. He has played a safety again.

0:39:000:39:05

That is a fabulous shot. Now there

is a chance to get a few reds into

0:39:050:39:13

the open.

0:39:130:39:14

He might be able to play the four

collision safety and hit the red

0:39:170:39:23

vicar. Since safety doesn't open the

reds as much. He picked out another

0:39:230:39:37

red. He hasn't really hit that

particularly well, to be quite

0:39:370:39:41

honest. The balls to open very

easily on these thin cloth is, so

0:39:410:39:48

you don't always have to whack them

hard, they start to open up pretty

0:39:480:39:53

easily. Can you imagine balls on a

little bit of the carpet, they

0:39:530:39:57

wouldn't spread apart like they were

on a piece of ice.

John is also

0:39:570:40:04

playing a trace a check on this

behind the yellow. It didn't quite

0:40:040:40:09

get the line. Not bad.

As lines go,

it is not bad. I am not too sure

0:40:090:40:20

that Yan Bingtao has a way back to

baulk now. I cannot see one.

0:40:200:40:28

Unless he can play extra thin on the

red to the right of the table but I

0:40:390:40:43

do not think that is on, to be quite

honest? Is there any shot he can

0:40:430:40:46

play?

There is the bottom left.

He

might be able to see that. Only he

0:40:460:41:04

will be able to see exactly what

parts of the reds he can contact. He

0:41:040:41:08

may be able to get this red than

enough. It is for with danger and

0:41:080:41:12

there was to red behind the blue to

contend with and if he hits a

0:41:120:41:15

diffraction thick. I never thought

about. What a great shot that is.

0:41:150:41:24

Obviously, no one understood.

Maybe

it is a new shot from the practice

0:41:240:41:32

room. He has had plenty of time to

practice. What a shot that was. John

0:41:320:41:38

is behind the yellow again.

He needs

a bit of help, Yan Bingtao, and a

0:41:380:41:45

slice of luck, but he has not got

anything out of it because John

0:41:450:41:50

Higgins is like a lump of granite

here today. You are bashing your

0:41:500:41:52

head against a brick wall. Bingtao

will have his patience tested

0:41:520:41:57

thoroughly here.

0:41:570:42:02

An excellent shot. About the best he

could hope for. Perilously close to

0:42:230:42:27

the blue and the corner pocket.

Don't tell me he has left the plant.

0:42:270:42:31

It is all going wrong if he has left

that on.

0:42:310:42:39

It looks on. If John Higgins goes

for it I expect him to get it.

He

0:42:500:42:56

could get on black depending on

which way he plays it. He has played

0:42:560:43:00

with control. This is brilliant.

What a shot that is.

Well, this is

0:43:000:43:27

currently a master surgeon at work.

He is not ideally placed on the reds

0:43:270:43:40

but the way he has started to cue

you fancy this red in the middle

0:43:400:43:46

pocket. Not much of a pocket to go

for, is there? It never touched the

0:43:460:43:55

sides. What a performance so far

this has turned into. You have got

0:43:550:44:04

to say he has to be one of the

favourites for the UK championship

0:44:040:44:08

this year. A few big names have gone

out. There are a few still in, of

0:44:080:44:13

course.

0:44:130:44:15

Yes, not absolutely the way he

played it. Still on one. He is going

0:44:410:44:46

to put all his eggs in one basket

here. This is in or over, dead

0:44:460:44:50

weight. It is a fairly new cloth and

it may help the shot. I fancy him to

0:44:500:44:57

get it but it is missable. It should

go in, but no.

John Higgins, 16.

Yan

0:44:570:45:09

Bingtao sat in that chair for most

of the last couple of frames, has

0:45:090:45:13

got at last, at long last, a decent

chance.

It is very easy to say that

0:45:130:45:24

he has got to make something from

this but when you have been kept off

0:45:240:45:28

the table for so long it is tough.

This is a difficult one to judge, to

0:45:280:45:38

get the correct weight. You cannot

argue with that. He made sure he did

0:45:380:45:49

not leave it short, too short. That

is assuming the black does go fully.

0:45:490:45:54

It must do.

0:45:540:45:57

It will be a good boost for the

morale now for Yan Bingtao to win

0:46:080:46:12

this in a classy way, this frame.

Just to show John Higgins what he is

0:46:120:46:19

capable of.

This is not an absolute,

bona fides chance to win this frame

0:46:190:48:03

yet. I do not think any of those

reds will go in the pocket that you

0:48:030:48:08

have two manufacture something. He

will not want to play the one to the

0:48:080:48:14

right middle, that would be

missable. He is looking for

0:48:140:48:17

something more certain. A little

tester, just up the fact he has not

0:48:170:48:31

had much table time. He is expecting

to get it nice and straight. Not a

0:48:310:48:35

lot to do with the cue ball, just

get the pot and opens up the frame a

0:48:350:48:39

little.

This is why you play eight

hours a day or whatever you decide

0:48:390:48:51

to play, so that when you do get a

chance when you have been kept off

0:48:510:48:54

the table you are quickly into your

stride.

0:48:540:49:02

It is definitely a measured approach

from Yan Bingtao. A simple black and

0:49:270:49:31

you would think he would already

know what red he is playing for next

0:49:310:49:35

but he is taking his time. His

average shot time is 21 seconds and

0:49:350:49:40

that is really pedestrian by modern

standards.

Yes, but it is indicative

0:49:400:49:46

of what he has had to put up with

today. I do not think this is his

0:49:460:49:49

natural speed. It floated pass

there, does the other red go? It is

0:49:490:49:54

OK if it does. That is OK. If he was

the one that was dominating

0:49:540:50:01

proceedings you would see a much

faster speed.

0:50:010:50:05

That one red at the bottom of the

pack goes, although you cannot get

0:50:130:50:16

the right side of it. Maybe another

red goes. The pink is available and

0:50:160:50:24

that helps.

Yes, the pink goes on

the green spot now so that is frame

0:50:240:50:32

-- fine. A good frame-winning chance

now. It is not necessarily a bad

0:50:320:50:40

thing, the pacing is played today,

it is almost another string to his

0:50:400:50:43

bow, isn't it?

Exactly. You wouldn't

always want to be playing at 30

0:50:430:50:49

seconds a shot. That is tough to get

the rhythm with but he has been up

0:50:490:50:53

against and it is impossible for him

to have had any rhythm in this match

0:50:530:50:56

so it is understandable that he shot

time would be slow. Most of the

0:50:560:51:02

shots he has had to play with and

scratches. He does not want to be

0:51:020:51:08

straight on this. It is not good if

it is straight. He has got enough of

0:51:080:51:17

an angle. He just has to judge the

pace of this because if he goes too

0:51:170:51:21

far he will not be on the red. Not

far enough and it is too fine a cut.

0:51:210:51:31

That is very nice indeed. He is

going to disturb other reds now. The

0:51:310:51:38

good split of those reds and

guaranteed position on the black,

0:51:380:51:42

pace wise, and he could be over the

line.

0:51:420:51:48

I think the other thing it tells us

is that the way he is taking his

0:51:570:52:03

time this afternoon, especially in

this contribution, is he thinks he

0:52:030:52:06

can still win the match and that is

important. It is not like he is

0:52:060:52:11

almost... Some players could be

forgiven for mentally almost giving

0:52:110:52:14

up. I would just throw my cue at a

few shots and hope something happens

0:52:140:52:19

but it has all been measured and in

a good way.

0:52:190:52:24

He is still in line for being the

youngest ever winner of a major

0:52:330:52:37

event, up until the German Masters

next year. But, to be quite honest,

0:52:370:52:42

that would just be a small record, I

think, when the history books

0:52:420:52:48

finally close on this game of

snooker, if they ever do get closed.

0:52:480:52:52

I think you will see the Yan Bingtao

name cropping up a few times.

Yes,

0:52:520:53:03

how can you win the World Cup at 15?

He did that with his compatriot.

0:53:030:53:17

That was a couple of years ago.

Yan

Bingtao 79.

John Higgins may decide

0:53:170:53:36

to come back to the table here.

Bingtao poo Mac last positional shot

0:53:360:53:42

was perhaps a bit risky. -- Bingtao

's last positional shot. It is a

0:53:420:54:06

tough ask but not much different to

that first frame with Yan Bingtao

0:54:060:54:11

carrying on. He will want to keep

the last red on the table. That

0:54:110:54:21

keeps open the option of three

balls. It is a quicker way to get

0:54:210:54:27

penalty points. So, no positional

shot played. Can he get in behind

0:54:270:54:37

this black? Should you so choose? He

misjudged that by miles. A poor

0:54:370:54:50

effort, really, from John Higgins.

0:54:500:54:57

Frink conceded.

Yan Bingtao gets a

frame on the board but John Higgins

0:55:120:55:18

goes into that interval leading

three frames to one. John Higgins,

0:55:180:55:26

to get us under way will stop the

second session. He will be quite

0:55:260:55:36

satisfied that interval 3-1 in

front. He got himself a foothold in

0:55:360:55:43

the match.

0:55:430:55:46

Now, there is a big mistake. I just

had a feeling that John was not

0:57:190:57:23

comfortable playing that. He is

worried about the new tip on the

0:57:230:57:28

cue.

0:57:280:57:33

Nicely judged positional shot from

Bingtao to get through a bit of a

0:57:570:58:01

gap with is cute. The red into the

centre. -- the gap with his cue.

0:58:010:58:15

Nothing, it would appear, goes into

the right corner, apart from the

0:58:150:58:18

first red.

0:58:180:58:22

Plenty of roads in the open here. A

good chance to make a sizeable

0:58:350:58:38

break.

0:58:380:58:45

Yes, he didn't get where he intends

the reds on the left hand side

0:58:560:59:02

there. He doesn't want to put the

pink out of cushion by taking it

0:59:020:59:05

this early.

0:59:050:59:16

He doesn't have to start getting to

integrate. He can pop this rating

0:59:170:59:21

comeback for the blue. He can wait

for a better opportunity to get on

0:59:210:59:26

the black. That will do well to get

the right side of the blue. Just

0:59:260:59:35

about, I think. He can just pull it

back, should he so wished, for the

0:59:350:59:41

run-in to the right corner. He may

have a fraction of an angle to run

0:59:410:59:50

through. He might as well try and

get a little bit closer, perhaps.

0:59:501:00:00

The roads are obviously into the

left corner as well. Plenty of

1:00:001:00:04

options. He just has to keep

concentration. He must not let one

1:00:041:00:11

positional shot go adrift.

1:00:111:00:15

Nystad have these two reds into the

middle pocket. -- nice to have

1:01:221:01:27

these. It is helping him out no end,

in keeping in good position in this

1:01:271:01:37

break. He can try and screw back...

Awful kick. He was putting a bit of

1:01:371:02:00

right-hand side spin on that and it

twisted the black to the left and

1:02:001:02:03

twisted the white to the right. The

cue ball ended up nowhere.

1:02:031:02:17

Yan Bingtao straight back onto the

table. Bad timing for the ice bucket

1:02:481:02:53

to come back on to the table. Just

out of your picture one of the

1:02:531:03:00

officials delivering a fresh ice

bucket to John Higgins. It was

1:03:001:03:10

nearly in Bingtao's I line. --

eyeline.

Well, perhaps justice is

1:03:101:03:24

served.

1:03:241:03:31

A pretty ramrod straight delivery of

the cue, which is always nice to

1:03:401:03:45

see. Not every player goes through

on a straight line. You would think

1:03:451:03:55

it would be essential but it's the

only at the point of hitting the cue

1:03:551:03:59

ball that that cue needs to be in a

straight line with the desired line

1:03:591:04:04

of the cue ball towards the object

ball. But common sense says it would

1:04:041:04:10

be better if it was in line all the

time from the end of the backswing

1:04:101:04:15

all the way through to the delivery.

Excellent effort there to keep on

1:04:151:04:23

the right side of the blue. As she

got their? -- has he got there.

1:04:231:04:33

Don't think he's got any angle. He

is poker straight on it. It will be

1:04:331:04:39

well within his competence, but he

won't want to play it unless he

1:04:391:04:44

absolutely has to do. Just a case of

how much he fancies the

1:04:441:04:54

long-distance red. This is a little

tester.

1:04:541:05:00

A little unfortunate there, not been

on anything. Is the plant possible?

1:05:301:05:37

Fabulous shot. Well played. That is

a bonus, landing on the black. Pot

1:05:371:05:50

this black in and he'll be back to

just one frame behind, Yan Bingtao.

1:05:501:06:01

He's on the red. Not as nicely as

she would've liked. He just needs

1:06:121:06:20

this red. The plant, as well. A bit

lucky, the way all of the other

1:06:201:06:37

plants have panned out for him. The

pink wasn't absolutely wonderful. So

1:06:371:06:44

from being completely outplayed and

getting the lifeline in that fourth

1:06:441:06:53

frame, all of sudden, Yan Bingtao

gets it back to only one behind.

1:06:531:06:58

Interesting times in this match.

1:06:581:07:08

Another massive kick. What's going

on? From having none to having a

1:07:091:07:13

few. It has been the general

consensus that a new brand of chalk

1:07:131:07:27

on the market reduces the amount of

kicks that players get in matches,

1:07:271:07:33

and handing towel doesn't use that

particular brand. -- Yan Bingtao.

1:07:331:07:41

Doesn't matter about the pink. 81

the break. Yan Bingtao hot on the

1:09:511:09:57

heels of John Higgins, brings the

score to 3-2.

1:09:571:10:08

John Higgins breaks off. And it

effectively is the best of five.

1:10:191:10:35

Not the easiest of safety shots to

the baulk end.

1:11:151:11:21

What has Bingtao spotted via? Very

aggressive. Monster shot. Monster.

1:11:361:11:48

Glover shot, an element of safety in

the shot. Not totally safe but what

1:11:481:11:56

a positive shot that is. Terrible

kick, again.

1:11:561:12:03

He's not now on the road that he

wanted to play, the one in open play

1:12:111:12:16

to the right of the table. -- he's

not on the red. It now has an

1:12:161:12:22

unmissable red into the corner. He

can't get the cue ball too far away

1:12:221:12:31

into the middle of the table. He

doesn't want to cheat the pocket too

1:12:311:12:36

much. That could be enough. Normal

service has been resumed. This would

1:12:361:12:56

be some scalp, if he wins here. Just

the style of it, not just the win,

1:12:561:13:07

we know that capable of winning. All

of these players, on Thursday, R. I

1:13:071:13:19

think I'm right in saying that

Bingtao has made the most progress

1:13:191:13:23

up the ranking list in recent

months. Huge jumps up the ladder.

1:13:231:13:38

Not the best shot, there. Too close

to the cushion. And because of that

1:13:391:13:46

a bit too straight on the black. So

a good shot required here to keep

1:13:461:13:53

this break going. He's got a bit of

an angle. He's going to put a bit of

1:13:531:13:58

power into this.

Didn't hit it as

well as he was hoping. A good, so

1:13:581:14:11

the pot, it is probably a bit

thinner than it looks on our

1:14:111:14:14

screens. He will do well to get on a

colour if he pops this. This is a

1:14:141:14:27

toughie. Difficult to get on a

colour. He was never going to get

1:14:271:14:31

south of the pack as far as a black

goes. So end of break.

It was the

1:14:311:14:38

red, previously, that was the

problem. Equals the previous lack of

1:14:381:14:44

position that then was magnified by

the next one. So, cut your losses.

1:14:441:14:55

Not enough of a lead to bother about

trying to put the black safe. Could

1:14:551:15:09

need another bite of the cherry to

get over the line. John Higgins has

1:15:091:15:16

been there, done it all. But

interesting to be able to see into

1:15:161:15:23

his mind to see how he's feeling

currently, compared to how he was

1:15:231:15:28

feeling at 3-0 up. One thing he does

do, he enjoys competing, doesn't he?

1:15:281:15:37

He'll love the challenge.

He sure

does, John.

1:15:371:15:44

Yan Bingtao has given him a real

challenge today. He has been tested

1:15:501:15:57

in every department, John.

1:15:571:15:59

Now, that could be a massive error.

That one, he seemed to play a bit

1:16:121:16:21

casually. He probably didn't. He

just seemed like he did.

1:16:211:16:32

APPLAUSE

1:16:391:16:49

The red actually moved, there, 1p

ordered it.

Yeah, played a

1:16:531:16:58

combination shot, didn't he? -- when

he potted it.

1:16:581:17:06

Nicely judged. Didn't go in to them

too hard but he knew that they would

1:17:111:17:18

open up nicely. It's a nice feeling

when you play that little cannon and

1:17:181:17:26

they spread over like they have. It

doesn't guarantee anything but it

1:17:261:17:31

makes the next 30 points as

straightforward as they can ever be.

1:17:311:17:36

It just gives you a nice little warm

feeling inside. When it works out as

1:17:361:17:42

intended. He needs a few good things

to happen right now, John Higgins.

1:17:421:17:51

To re-establish some authority in

this match.

1:17:511:18:01

He could conceivably get over the

winning post without needing that

1:18:101:18:15

red on the side cushion. Not

necessarily sure that he will have

1:18:151:18:22

done those maths. The job in hand.

He has to be precise with this

1:18:221:18:32

black. Isn't the end of the world as

the isn't.

But that was as easy way

1:18:321:18:45

as any of on those reds. -- getting

on those reds.

1:18:451:18:58

It is a good point about the red on

the right side cushion.

He can get

1:19:061:19:13

away with one more extra on the

pink.

Six reds, six blacks, would

1:19:131:19:19

put him 58 points and fun. Two pinks

and three blacks. Well, four blacks,

1:19:191:19:28

and he wouldn't need that red.

It is

something that you should do the

1:19:281:19:39

maths for, but sometimes there's so

much work to be done you're just

1:19:391:19:42

sometimes concentrating on keeping

position. Where these bores you

1:19:421:19:46

would sometimes be going for blacks,

but if you take too many pinks it

1:19:461:19:52

would be a minor mistake.

John

Ashley would be thinking about it.

1:19:521:19:55

The future of the game, players

should be aware exactly if they need

1:19:551:20:01

that ball on the cushion or not.

We

have the luxury of being able to sit

1:20:011:20:06

here pointing it out, and we don't

have too pot anything. That's a nice

1:20:061:20:11

little short! I don't know if he's

checked the scoreboard. He's having

1:20:111:20:17

a look at it now. It will be, not

maybe in the forefront of his mind,

1:20:171:20:24

for blacks would put him 36 in front

before the last, difficult red.

If

1:20:241:20:29

you look at the scoreboard now, now,

has he done the maths?

1:20:291:20:37

Is it the maths, or is it the math?

My American? I think the singular is

1:20:471:20:57

the posh way of saying it!

Is there

a Scottish way?

Probably. That is a

1:20:571:21:08

good shot as well. So, a few blacks.

1:21:081:21:13

Think he can screw back to the side

cushion with this. It's dead

1:22:171:22:23

straight. Doing its job of keeping

the black -- keeping on the black.

1:22:231:22:37

The best way of playing for this red

is to the corner, he doesn't want to

1:22:371:22:43

play for it in the middle. That's

clever, a very clever shot. An

1:22:431:22:53

indication again, all the shot

selection being the most important

1:22:531:22:56

thing. The way he played that he

didn't have to play the shot

1:22:561:22:59

perfectly, just get topside of the

red. And now that should be a

1:22:591:23:05

formality. He has taken them well.

1:23:051:23:09

After potting this black he's

looking to get the double as well,

1:23:341:23:40

just to put the tin lid on this

frame.

1:23:401:23:47

Barring slickers, that is John

Higgins back with his nose in front

1:24:031:24:06

at 4-3. -- barring snookers.

1:24:061:24:14

After a rerack he has a similar red

to the one here before but the white

1:24:441:24:49

is not right on the baulk cushion.

He hit it thick last time.

He needs

1:24:491:25:01

to take the bull by the horns here

and be aggressive.

This is a tough

1:25:011:25:08

shot. Bingtao has got to cut the red

ink, screw back and keep on the

1:25:081:25:20

black in the same pocket but in

putting all the effort into the

1:25:201:25:22

shot, they are missable and he would

present a John Higgins with a golden

1:25:221:25:28

opportunity. He has turned down a

shot that a few players would have

1:25:281:25:35

gone for. Plenty of players in the

game just would have automatically

1:25:351:25:40

got down and played that.

I was

surprised. Any time I've seen him in

1:25:401:25:49

the past, he certainly would have

played it. It is a shot at nothing

1:25:491:25:54

that he's left John with, as well.

1:25:541:26:05

How's the split? This is good.

Things just beginning to happen now.

1:26:251:26:30

A big target, that. The pink half

ball.

1:26:301:26:43

John Higgins smelling blood, here.

He realises the significance of Yan

1:27:531:28:02

Bingtao's shot not being punchy

enough.

1:28:021:28:08

John will want to play for the red

on the cushion may as a last resort.

1:29:041:29:17

This was the shot that Yan Bingtao

played. He turned down a pot into

1:29:241:29:28

the left corner for the safety shot.

And John Higgins got in from that

1:29:281:29:36

shot.

1:29:361:29:40

are a

John Higgins 37.

1:30:341:30:38

Yan Bingtao bashes the table with

his cue, which is the modern day

1:30:441:30:48

sign of an appreciative shot of your

opponent. He has left the road into

1:30:481:30:57

the middle. -- red into the middle.

Can he get past the black to the red

1:30:571:31:07

into the corner? It doesn't look

like it.

1:31:071:31:10

I think you would expect him to get

this. Wow, I thought that was going

1:31:151:31:25

in. Just a fraction too hard. I

still thought it was going in

1:31:251:31:31

though, didn't you, Aaron?

You can

tell by Jon 's reaction as well, he

1:31:311:31:36

thought it was in. A puff of the

cheeks.

1:31:361:31:43

This is thin but I am sure he will

get it. That is why they have

1:31:491:32:00

experts in the commentary box!

Wry

smile from John. He has managed to

1:32:001:32:11

somehow cover this road with the

blue.

1:32:111:32:22

Bingtao was trying to pay a better

positional shot than just potting

1:32:261:32:29

the red. A bit more pace it would

have been an ideal pace to pop the

1:32:291:32:33

red. Not easy to get a telling

safety shot here.

1:32:331:32:54

That got a bit close to the pocket,

didn't it? Yan Bingtao taps the

1:32:541:33:05

table but it was not that far off

being a mistake. Now it has caused a

1:33:051:33:14

few problems. Yes. If he is going to

play the up safety he will have to

1:33:141:33:21

get this very thin. He will drop the

cushion first on the left-hand red,

1:33:211:33:28

which he is doing.

Used only to give

these respects. With the baulk

1:33:281:33:45

colours as they are, it is not easy

to get telling snookers.

Surprised

1:33:451:33:55

here that the loose red left of the

pink spot, slide off it, cue ball

1:33:551:34:01

near the yellow pocket and Yang will

be in trouble. I think John will

1:34:011:34:05

find himself maybe not in masses of

travel but maybe he has given up the

1:34:051:34:10

initiative. There was thought behind

it. 37 points in front and tire

1:34:101:34:16

those three roads.

He doesn't make

many tactical mistakes, does he?

1:34:161:34:32

There was one here that I think Yan

can play and leave John that one to

1:34:321:34:36

the left of centre, is close to the

ball cushion as you can. He is

1:34:361:34:42

shifting that red. John 's long game

has not been on it. He has not been

1:34:421:34:46

on song today. I would have left him

attempt there. A possible plant to

1:34:461:34:54

nothing.

The thing about this

situation now is there is a way of

1:34:541:35:04

getting down the table and getting

good snooker. Not easy but from this

1:35:041:35:09

side of the

1:35:091:35:20

table that plant was a bit more on

than you would have thought from the

1:35:241:35:27

distance. Red struggled in but it is

definitely John Higgins with the

1:35:271:35:33

initiative.

He is playing in behind

the brown here, I feel. It takes out

1:35:331:35:43

the rest of the left-hand cushion.

He is in trouble.

Immediately Yan

1:35:431:35:52

Bingtao will be seeing if he has any

kind of route to the three reds on

1:35:521:35:56

the top cushion. He is looking at

possibly three-cushion escape. I

1:35:561:36:12

think he is going to have to try to

get close to the green after two

1:36:121:36:16

cushions.

I don't think that shot is

on. Too much slide on the cloth. I

1:36:161:36:32

think he could probably try this all

day long and not get it. I think you

1:36:321:36:38

should know from what he has just

done, unless you get stupidly close

1:36:381:36:42

to the green he will not be able to

get out of it. Will slide too much.

1:36:421:36:47

I might be wrong. He can get that

close to it, that is close enough to

1:36:471:36:54

the green. Put the greenback,

though.

1:36:541:37:07

I don't think he can escape off

three cushions there. Really,

1:37:081:37:13

without being disrespectful, he must

know this now. We have had ago and

1:37:131:37:17

he must've seen have all released on

the third cushion.

I was just about

1:37:171:37:22

to say that. It is important that

they get the green exactly where it

1:37:221:37:25

was because it obviously plays an

integral pot of the shot.

1:37:251:37:39

He might just have made it.

Oh, wow!

He is having a little chuckle to

1:37:481:38:01

sell. That is the best he could have

done to get across the table. That

1:38:011:38:05

is the absolute limit.

1:38:051:38:15

Every credit to him to having

another go at it. He is perilously

1:38:211:38:25

close to the green. He might escape.

John will be making sure he doesn't

1:38:251:38:39

push this brown, I'm sure.

He is

making the red safe, isn't?

There is

1:38:391:38:51

no way John wants to get involved at

any time with having safety shot

1:38:511:38:55

Goneva brown. Once again Bingtao is

in enough trouble that it seems he's

1:38:551:39:06

going off the side cushion for the

three roads. I don't know what he

1:39:061:39:10

was doing there for a moment.

Another shot is available. What was

1:39:101:39:16

he lining up there?

I think he was

just in between the top jaw in the

1:39:161:39:25

middle and the brown. He was looking

at the drop on the three roads --

1:39:251:39:30

reds and he obviously didn't fancy

it. Yes, John playing this wreck

1:39:301:39:39

near the baulk line. It is not a

double-kiss but he doesn't really

1:39:391:39:43

want to shift it unless he has two.

He doesn't have to do anything

1:39:431:39:53

special here. He can just jump onto

the three reds. It is Yan Bingtao

1:39:531:39:57

who has to jump onto the aggressive

safety.

The double-kiss is not on.

1:39:571:40:03

It would only be a double-kiss of

this was a straight ball to the

1:40:031:40:07

corner and the cue ball will win the

race.

Nicely judged, although

1:40:071:40:16

Bingtao can improve the situation

with a thin contact on the first

1:40:161:40:18

red. Is there a gap between green

and blue that he can get the black

1:40:181:40:31

interplay? There might be. It might

be risky where the red goes. I think

1:40:311:40:37

he can get the black out here.

1:40:371:40:48

He needed to play an aggressive one

and he has done. You have to say he

1:40:531:40:58

asked the best possible question of

John Higgins under the circumstances

1:40:581:41:01

will is not John has got a

relatively easy path back to baulk,

1:41:011:41:07

but at least it has opened the reds

up and opened colours up.

1:41:071:41:20

There will not be many times in his

career he will be tapping the table

1:41:281:41:33

as many as he has done against John

Higgins here today. Great judgment

1:41:331:41:37

of weight there as well. It has

caused as much problems as the line.

1:41:371:41:51

A last resort shot. Once again the

side cushion and leave that one in

1:41:511:41:56

the jaws, that is a last resort. He

is coming down to see what kind of

1:41:561:42:00

shots John Higgins has got from the

jaws of that corner. I am not sure

1:42:001:42:04

he has too many other options. A big

shots to try and potted.

He is

1:42:041:42:18

taking this on, I think. Yes, that

was so difficult. He has not left an

1:42:181:42:27

absolute sitter. John Higgins, you

would expect to take full advantage.

1:42:271:42:42

Well, he obviously believes in his

own ability. He could've played a

1:42:431:42:46

containing shots there. I think

probably the scoreline in the frame,

1:42:461:42:52

and knowing how clever John Higgins

is, perhaps he thought that was as

1:42:521:42:56

good as a chance as he would ever

get. It was not much of a chance.

1:42:561:43:04

John Higgins sticks that red in the

heart of the pocket. It was the

1:43:041:43:11

first frame really that has gone

against the grain. Yan Bingtao was

1:43:111:43:17

in first and he couldn't

successfully negotiate the

1:43:171:43:19

positional side of the frame and

John Higgins got back in and now it

1:43:191:43:23

looks like John Higgins has smelt a

bit of blood. He never balks at the

1:43:231:43:33

finishing line, that is for certain.

1:43:331:43:43

Yes, he has checked the school

board. Three of those reds. With

1:43:451:43:54

colours and then he should be one

away from victory.

1:43:541:44:06

He would still like this red into

completely seal the frame.

1:45:511:46:03

Striking the ball very nicely. He

never overhits a shot, John Higgins.

1:46:071:46:12

He knows when to stroke the shots

and went to punch it in. The

1:46:121:46:16

complete all-rounder. Apart from

those shots, obviously! That is John

1:46:161:46:28

Higgins 5-3 in front and needing one

more for a place in the last 16.

1:46:281:46:41

Well, if that red to the right

corner is dead straight, he could

1:46:461:46:50

play it as a shot to nothing. For

the black. The only Reggie would

1:46:501:46:55

leave on would be the one he missed,

other than the red into the middle

1:46:551:47:00

pocket that would possibly popped

but he has potential with this one

1:47:001:47:05

as well. There was the potential. He

was never going to be rolling it in

1:47:051:47:17

dead weight, that was too risky. Not

far of getting the snooker. He

1:47:171:47:29

didn't even look into that red in

the far corner perhaps wasn't

1:47:291:47:34

straight.

1:47:341:47:43

Never really going to be able to put

his opponent in too much trouble

1:47:521:47:56

from that shot. Yan Bingtao should

be able to find a path back to ball.

1:47:561:48:10

Actually it has been a feature of

this match and, to be honest, a

1:48:101:48:17

feature of the modern game, players

are loath to play the safety of the

1:48:171:48:21

pack and push the reds out

potentially over the corner and then

1:48:211:48:23

be sitting out for the rest of the

frame. I have seen it more. This

1:48:231:48:27

looks good. Not quite in behind the

brown suit John Higgins perhaps hear

1:48:271:48:34

about to gain the upper hand again.

Yes, he cannot play the full cushion

1:48:341:48:45

safety because of the red in between

yellow and pink in the way. He can

1:48:451:48:49

play the two question. Inside it

just behind the brown. Down to the

1:48:491:48:55

full cushion. Line it up. On the

yellow. Cut off the escapes down the

1:48:551:49:03

right-hand side of the table. I

sound like an know what I'm talking

1:49:031:49:13

about there!

That was a brilliant

shot. I do not know if you will see

1:49:131:49:27

any return to the baulk area, I

suppose he could drop dead weight

1:49:271:49:30

into the cluster of the reds but

that has risk attached to it.

Has he

1:49:301:49:37

another half ball one, red into the

pack behind the black? If he can see

1:49:371:49:42

enough of the right hand side of the

second raid on the left of the

1:49:421:49:46

table, if that makes sense.

Yes, I

think you can.

I cannot see many

1:49:461:49:55

other shots at the moment.

That is a

good spot. You wouldn't like playing

1:49:551:50:02

it unless he can hit the red on the

thin side are not push too many open

1:50:021:50:06

reds out of the cluster, but what

else has he got?

I think he has to

1:50:061:50:13

try and play the shot and trying get

in behind the black. A thin half

1:50:131:50:17

ball. Not too thick, as you say. He

has just looked at it there. He is

1:50:171:50:22

going through the same thought

process as we have gone through.

1:50:221:50:28

Yes, there you go, that is the shot

he is going to play. We think.

1:50:281:50:36

Unless he is seeing something else.

Can he play the one nearer the blue?

1:50:361:50:42

He could play the same shot. He is

not going to take the pot on? To the

1:50:421:50:49

top cushion?

1:50:491:50:49

Far enough out with the red that you

didn't get the cue ball tracking

1:50:571:51:00

right. As he left anything? Masses.

Why he has left is not John 's

1:51:001:51:14

favourite shot, especially pasta

plate slowly and hope for a black.

1:51:141:51:18

You will probably come around for a

choice of the pink or the blue and

1:51:181:51:21

that makes the pot a fraction

easier. He has dribbled it.

Not as

1:51:211:51:34

easy as it looked on the TV, that

shot.

1:51:341:51:45

Frame and match-winning opportunity

here. The balls do not look that

1:51:481:51:55

much out in the open, but there are

enough loose reds around better

1:51:551:51:58

player of the likes of John Higgins

will be able to orchestrate a

1:51:581:52:04

chance. Straight on this black. It

would have been a lot easier had he

1:52:041:52:15

not been. A tremendous amount of

side spin on that. Has gone too far?

1:52:151:52:27

Has he overheated? He did overheated

a bit, but has he overheated too

1:52:271:52:34

much?

Yes, he is just about all

right. The red in baulk helps him as

1:52:341:52:43

well. The next couple of shots he is

playing for the blue. Holding

1:52:431:52:50

flipping, though. This is a decent

position. Slowly but surely pushing

1:52:501:52:57

other reds into possible positions.

1:52:571:53:08

He might be a bit low on this red.

You should be able to slide off

1:53:201:53:23

other reds. It is hard to see from

the commentary box. He has to go

1:53:231:53:29

into something here. Very nicely

judged stop easy to have played that

1:53:291:53:35

soft and not got such a good split

but he had the experience to know he

1:53:351:53:39

had to punch that one in.

Just

checking to see if he can play for

1:53:391:53:50

two reds on this. Just helped him to

get the cue ball high enough to be

1:53:501:53:59

perfect on the next red. This is

developing beautifully.

Well, it has

1:53:591:54:08

been a fascinating match to

commentate on and should John

1:54:081:54:12

Higgins convert this chance, an

excellent match for John Higgins to

1:54:121:54:19

establish his mark in this

tournament and stake a claim on

1:54:191:54:22

possibly being the champion. He has

won it three times before, I think.

1:54:221:54:26

Who is to say he will not win it

again? He still has to mind his work

1:54:261:54:32

here though. A good chance to go

into the pack. He should not lose

1:54:321:54:38

the cue ball. He can go in with a

bit of pace. That was an outside

1:54:381:54:44

red. Apologies. I didn't think that

went. It flies in. He could have

1:54:441:54:54

gone into the reds there but it was

risky.

He is just looking for

1:54:541:55:02

something more certain, isn't it?

1:55:021:55:13

It is actually a clever shot he has

played. It is virtually guaranteed.

1:55:141:55:30

If that red next to the pink went

and I would sort of agree with not

1:55:381:55:44

going into the reds. It is a bit

more difficult like this but such a

1:55:441:55:49

good player, John Higgins he may be

gambling by getting an unlucky split

1:55:491:55:57

I suppose. He would not have played

into them. There is a scoreboard

1:55:571:56:06

check, 55 and potentially another

six would be 61. He is still going

1:56:061:56:10

to need the red and the high value

colour from the cluster.

1:56:101:56:22

One good positional shot. Yellow. A

big area. Let us get that one right

1:56:291:56:35

at least. That is right, blue.

I

would have played for the yellow.

1:56:351:56:45

Nothing wrong with the cue ball.

That is why we are really here. He

1:56:451:56:51

could have played this earlier. God

knows why he is playing it now.

This

1:56:511:56:59

is effectively to win the match. A

good split and is over.

1:56:591:57:11

That red, 62, the black to follow.

The match ball is coming up.

1:57:141:57:28

He has had to fight hard all day

long. 3-0 in front pegs back to 3-3

1:57:371:57:43

but using of is experience. Just to

confirm the victory. Not been

1:57:431:57:54

vintage John Higgins but it has been

good enough.

It has been good enough

1:57:541:58:00

and Yan Bingtao has not been found

too much wanting either. John

1:58:001:58:06

Higgins has been the stronger but

Yan Bingtao has impressed greatly

1:58:061:58:11

today. 70 points in front and he has

not given up but he is on the brink

1:58:111:58:20

of giving up now. A fantastic

victory for John Higgins. He is

1:58:201:58:25

through to the next round where he

meets Mark King.

From 3-0 down to

1:58:251:58:38

3-3, Yan Bingtao made a matchup that

but it was John 's experience, he

1:58:381:58:43

saw the finishing line and he was

able to stride over it in the end

1:58:431:58:46

and he goes through to play Mark

King on Wednesday afternoon. I hope

1:58:461:58:51

you have enjoyed that. It whetted

our appetite for more and I am sure

1:58:511:58:54

you will join us at 1pm this

afternoon for more of the same.

1:58:541:59:01

Hazel Irvine presents highlights from Tuesday afternoon's action at the £850,000 UK Championship.