Higgins downs Carter in Masters

  • Last Updated: January 15 2013, 7:03 GMT

World number three John Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Ali Carter 6-3 and book his place in the quarter-finals of the Betfair Masters.

John Higgins: Through despite a slow start
John Higgins: Through despite a slow start

Carter got off to the ideal start at Alexandra Palace when he won the first two frames, the second of them despite having needed two snookers.

But Higgins then rattled in a 117 clearance to kickstart a run of four frames in succession and although Carter reduced the deficit, Higgins went on to seal victory as he seeks a third Masters title.

It all looked good for former World Championship finalist Carter when he won the second frame in unlikely fashion after needing two snookers.

He got the second of those when Higgins, who is using a new cue this season, got too much swerve on an escape attempt and missed the brown, only for Higgins to then fluke a snooker behind the blue.

However, Carter fluked the brown as he escaped from the snooker and landed perfectly on the blue, before eventually sealing the frame on the black.

"I was still feeling okay," Higgins told BBC2. "I hadn't missed much and felt fine and that's half the battle. It's only you and your mind out there and I was still in the game so you just get on with it."

Higgins did precisely that with a break of 117 in the next and also took the fourth frame to make it 2-2 at the mid-session interval.

The Scot took the next two frames as well, the sixth with a break of 97, and after Carter hit back with 83 to reduce the gap, Higgins made it 5-3 in a scrappy eighth frame.

Carter was in first with 54 in the ninth frame but missed a pink to the middle and Higgins stepped in with a clearance of 65.

"I was thinking Ali was going to pull it back to 5-5 because I was beginning to feel the pressure a bit, but luckily I held myself together," Higgins added.

Graeme Dott scraped into the quarter-finals of The Masters after snatching a 6-5 victory over Stephen Maguire at Alexandra Palace.

Maguire knocked in two century breaks in the contest, but his fellow Scot prevailed in a tense deciding frame to advance.

Breaks of 61 and 69 handed Dott the opening two frames, but Maguire responded with a superb 110 before levelling the match in the next frame.

Maguire then knocked in a 65 before Dott restored parity and then rattled in a composed 92 to reclaim the lead, which extended to 5-3 in a scrappy eighth.

But Maguire pulled one back and then forced a decider with a delightful clearance of 131 as Dott went two frames without potting a single ball.

Maguire took the early lead in frame 11, but Dott clawed his way back and edged ahead before a double on the final forced his compatriot to concede defeat.

Former world champion Dott will now face the winner of Tuesday's clash between Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins.

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