Higgins gains upper hand

John Higgins will take a slender 5-4 lead over Neil Robertson into tonight’s final session of the Wuxi Classic, in what looks set to be a closely fought match.

Higgins, a four-time world champion, took control as he moved to a 5-2 advantage over the Australian world number one, but Robertson hit back in successive frames to narrow the deficit at the end of the session.

Robertson, who won the China Open in March, had claimed the opening frame thanks to a break of 61 but Scotland’s Higgins took charge with breaks of 78 and 56 to go 2-1 up.

It was then back to all square by the mid-session interval when Robertson, who won the world title in 2010, hit back with a break of 91 to level the match after the fourth frame.

Higgins came back firing after the interval, though, and the reigning Bulgaria Open champion claimed a three-frame lead thanks to fluid breaks of 70, 93 and 82 to punish his opponent.

Robertson again came back to halt Higgins’ progress as a break of 52 won him the eighth frame before he finished with a flourish and chalked up the first century break of the final – a slick 113 – to leave the match evenly poised.

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