Richard Mann looks ahead to John Higgins' last-16 tie with Jack Lisowski and thinks we could be set for another close match.
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Since lifting his first world title in 1998 - when beating Ken Doherty to fulfil a lifetime's ambition - Higgins has gone on to become one of the giants of the game and has proved this season, that even at the age of 42, he remains no back number.
A record fifth Welsh Open success has capped another strong campaign for the Scot and he comes into this season's World Championship sensing a real opportunity.
Having produced some brilliant snooker on the way to reaching the final last year, Higgins found Mark Selby too strong in the final few days and was eventually overhauled, despite holding a 9-4 lead at one stage.
As Higgins told SportingLife.com here last week, it is a defeat that still hurts now but it has been the catalyst for another fine campaign and he impressed many an onlooker with his form when beating exciting debutant Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the first round here earlier in the week.
With Selby already out of this year's tournament, Higgins' side of the draw looks particularly appealing and he will will be desperate to capitalise.
He faces another fine talent in round two, however, Lisowski representing a stiff challenge Higgins is well aware of.
Higgins told WorldSnooker.com: "I've got every respect for Jack.
"We all know how special a talent he is and he's getting there now.
"The penny has really really dropped, he's a special player who's going to do great things in the game."
Lisowki enters the last 16 with his confidence buoyed by his first-round defeat of former champion Stuart Bingham and some of the snooker he produced in that match was right out of the top drawer.
Two century breaks and four other 50+ contributions showcased his impressive break-building and the fact he held his nerve when Bingham closed to 7-9 is a favourable reflection on his character and bodes well for another high-pressure encounter against Higgins.
Higgins is 1/3 to book a quarter-final place and should have too much nous for Lisowski, but this match has the potential to be closer than the odds reflect and latter might be worth a small interest on the handicap (+3.5) at 5/6.
Posted at 1840 BST on 27/04/18