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UK Snooker Championship 2020: Mark Selby and Neil Robertson reach last eight, John Higgins out

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Mark Selby
Mark Selby made breaks of 121, 117 and 106 against Barry Hawkins
Dates: 23 November to 6 December Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app from Saturday, 28 November.

Two-time champions Mark Selby and Neil Robertson moved into the last eight at the UK Championship but John Higgins was knocked out.

Selby made three century breaks in an impressive 6-3 win over fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins.

Australian Robertson fought back from 4-2 down to seal a 6-4 victory over Anthony McGill.

Three-time winner John Higgins fell to a shock 6-2 defeat against 22-year-old Zhou Yuelong from China.

Meanwhile, England’s Joe Perry advanced with a 6-3 win over Welshman Jamie Jones and will face Lu Ning or Pang Junxu next.

Selby and Robertson will also meet in the quarter-finals on Friday, with Zhou scheduled to play Xiao Guodong or Jack Lisowski.

Superb Selby

Selby’s win puts him into the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since the second of his two titles in 2016.

While Higgins was the 11th player in the world’s top 16 to have been eliminated, Selby never looked in danger – taking control from the start.

Breaks of 121 and 77 helped the three-time world champion to a 3-1 lead at the interval and he continued in the same vein thereafter.

It proved a difficult evening for Hawkins, who slipped out of the top 16 earlier in the year and found his time on the table limited by the excellence of his opponent.

While he was able to grind out the fifth and eighth frames, Selby was at his fluent best in between making back-to-back centuries before winning a scrappy ninth frame.

Robertson recovers as Higgins falters

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson won the UK Championship in 2013 and 2015

After a high-quality opening that included breaks of 94 and 83 from Robertson and a century from McGill, the players went into the interval at 2-2.

But a fluke on the green helped McGill take the fifth frame and the Scot, who reached the World Championship semi-finals in August, extended his lead with a brilliant 127 clearance in the next.

However, Robertson responded by making a superb 132 break, his 33rd century of the season.

And the 2010 world champion grew in confidence, closing out his win by reeling off four consecutive frames.

In contrast, Zhou, who is yet to win a major ranking tournament, was always in command against four-time world champion Higgins.

At one stage the Scot looked likely to be on the end of a whitewash but a clearance of 72 and a break of 80 added some respectability to his defeat.

“I never got anything going at all. I left myself too much to do,” Higgins said.

“I rate him as the next best player coming through. I think he has a good all around game. I hope he goes on and does himself justice.”

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