John Higgins joins big-name exodus at UK championship with loss to Zhao Xintong

The three-time champion let a 5-3 lead slip in the best-of-11 third-round clash.
John Higgins joins big-name exodus at UK championship with loss to Zhao Xintong

By PA Sport Staff

John Higgins is the latest big name to crash out of the UK championship in York after defeat to China’s Zhao Xintong in the third round.

Higgins, a three-time UK champion, led 5-3 before the 24-year-old Zhao reeled off three frames in a row, clinching his 6-5 win with a nerveless break of 83.

The Scot’s defeat saw him follow world number one Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy out of the tournament.

Zhao Xintong is through to the last 16
Zhao Xintong is through to the last 16 (Tim Goode/PA)

Higgins told Eurosport: “He was by far the better player, I was pretty poor all day.

“I missed a terrible red when I was 20 in front at 5-4, and when I missed that I knew I was going to lose 6-5. If you don’t take your chances you don’t deserve anything.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan started with a century and reeled off five more 50-plus breaks as he saw off veteran Mark King 6-3 to join Zhao in the last 16.

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