John Higgins got his World Series campaign off to a flying start with a 4-0 defeat of local wildcard Aaron Canavan in Jersey tonight.
Higgins is co-promoting the new series with his manager, Pat Mooney, and made the most of an inexperienced opponent to set up a semi-final meeting with Shaun Murphy.
“To win 4-0 is obviously pleasing,” he said. “Aaron didn’t play as well as he could have done but I’m happy.
“He said to me afterwards what a great occasion it was and what a great chance it had been for him to play a top player.
“When people say things like that you hope it can be the start of something big.”
Canavan, who runs a classic car hire firm, was in the driving seat early in the first frame but Higgins eventually clinched it and added the second with the aid of a 48 break.
The twice world champion comfortably secured the third and made a highest break of 44 in completing the whitewash a frame later.
Murphy, who defeated Higgins en route to winning the 2005 World Championship, lost the opening frame against Guernsey’s Martin Desperques but went on to beat him 4-1.
The Rotherham-potter has just returned from the Jiangsu Classic, an invitation event in China, and will be competing in the next World Series event in Berlin next month.
“We’ve been asking for more tournaments for years and now they’re here,” Murphy said. “We’re not here to mess about. We’re all taking it seriously.”
Former world champion Ken Doherty was a shock casualty in St Helier, beaten 4-1 by Gary Britton – a wildcard and former professional who works for a local bank - but Mark Selby cruised into the semi-finals with a quickfire 4-0 victory over Rafal Jewtuch, the Polish champion.