Higgins and Ebdon crash out of first round of Beijing Open

Higgins and Ebdon crash out of first round of Beijing Open

John Higgins and defending champion Peter Ebdon both crashed out of the Bank of Beijing China Open in the first round today.

Four-time world title-winner Higgins led Robert Milkins 3-1 and 4-3 but the Scot was eventually beaten 5-4 at what is the penultimate event of the season.

England's Milkins – the world number 19, who will now face the winner of Stuart Bingham’s clash with Liang Wenbo – admitted afterwards that he felt Higgins had probably deserved to win the match.

Milkins told worldsnooker.com: “I’ve been so low on confidence for the last few weeks.

“I’m struggling to see the angles on every shot. I nicked a few frames against John and luckily for me he didn’t play well, although he played better than I did and probably deserved to win.

“The only frame I felt good in was the last one.

“I won a big frame to go 3-2, I made a good clearance because it was last-chance saloon. If it had been 4-1 I couldn’t have won.”

Milkins threw his cue on to the floor during the eighth frame.

Reflecting on that incident, he said: “It was just pure frustration.

“I’ve been playing so badly it’s unbelievable, I don’t feel like a professional at the moment. Sometimes we let our emotions out.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done it so I apologise to John but it hurts me when I play like that.”

Ebdon’s defence of his crown came to an early end with a 5-3 loss to Marcus Campbell, whose opponent in the last-16 will be fellow Scotsman Graeme Dott.

Dechawat Poomjaeng of Thailand overcame Chinese wild card Zhu Yinghui 5-2 and will next take on Mark Davis in round one.

Another home wild card, Lu Haotian, had originally been scheduled to take on Mark Joyce in the same session today, but was already through to the last 32 - where he will meet Mark Williams – via a bye after his opponent pulled out of the tournament with his partner due to give birth.

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