Yan sets up last-eight clash with Higgins

Xinhua
Yan, 17, had a stormy start, taking the first two frames with breaks of 98 and 103 points, establishing an early 3-1 lead before the interval.
Xinhua
Imaginechina

Yan Bingtao, 17, reached the quarterfinals of the World Snooker International Championship in Daqing on November 1, 2017.

Teenage sensation Yan Bingtao set up a mouth-watering quarterfinal clash with John Higgins after defeating Englishman Jack Lisowski 6-4 at the World Snooker International Championship in Daqing, north China’s Heilongjiang Province, on Wednesday.

Yan, 17, had a stormy start, taking the first two frames with breaks of 98 and 103 points, establishing an early 3-1 lead before the interval.

However, Lisowski soon turned the tables by winning three consecutive frames. But solid as a rock, Yan rallied in similar style, taking three straight frames to win the match 6-4 in front of a joyous home audience.

“I enjoyed the match and I’ve equalled my best performance in ranking events, reaching the last eight,” Yan said afterwards.

“Actually I have made the last 16 eight times but lost in seven of them, four in deciders.”

Asked how far he would go this time, Yan had no hesitation in saying: “Tomorrow could be a real problem,” alluding to his Scottish rival.

Higgins, the Wizard of Wishaw, booked his berth in the quarterfinal by beating England’s Mark Joyce 6-1. Though Yan had upset another Englishman and favorite Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round, he refused to talk big about Thursday’s match.

“It’s even more difficult to play against Higgins for he is excellent at shifting between defense and offense. He has no obvious weak points so it is very hard to play him,” Yan said. “I don’t think I have any advantage over him ... just try to do my best, if I can play as well as what I did on that night against O’Sullivan I may have a chance.”

Higgins was amused at their age difference. “Obviously I am 42, Bingtao is 17, my son is one year younger than him,” he joked. “The younger people have got better eyes, they can see the pocket more clearly than old players.”

The Scot admitted that experience may be an advantage for elder players but still, “when the match starts anybody can win so you should play your best”.

World No. 1 Mark Selby of England beat Wales’ Mark Williams 6-4 in the night session to set up a last-8 clash with compatriot Robbie Williams.


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